Series of Unfortunate Events – BTN Part 3

And now, we reached the 4th day of BTN.

Our daily routines are pretty much the same with the usual morning assembly (aka marching), followed by breakfast, LDK, morning break, more LDK, lunch and alternate LDK with some food in between. However, this particular morning, they start everything earlier because later in the afternoon, we will have our “kembara”. πŸ™‚ This is my most await event of the day because few days before, I saw a couple obstacle course behind the boys’ hostel block. So, I knew we will be doing some rough and tough physical activities during the kembara. Yay!

But before I continue on to my kembara journey. I would like to share some of the activities I did during LDK. One of them was to do a presentation regarding globalization and why some people around the world are protesting against it. Those naive idiots, they know nothing about globalization but end up blaming it instead. Globalization should cover a larger field than just the narrowly focus economy field. My little group consisting of Adele, Amirul, Nurul (I think :P) and me was given the task of presenting how to prepare for the globalized world.

Haha, now we are talking since the presentation was entering my field of interest. We went into the surauΒ  to find some cool shady place to do our discussion. Withing a short amount of time, we come up with an astounding fifteen good points to be present out.Β  But then, Encik Khalid came to us and said that the other teams are hovering around twenty points. A little competitiveness got into us and with come up with another five points to add to the mix.

Back in the stuffy and hot room, we found out that the other teams did not even reached any fifteen points as stated by Encik Khalid – that LIAR! We were suppose to be the last to present, so, when they were presenting, I added another three points into my subcategory. πŸ˜› During presentation time, it was hands down knowing who dominate the presentation and wow the audience there. I cannot help but boast about myself here.

Next LDK was where we are suppose to create a slogan and decorate it in the nicest way possible to show how we feel about our home country – Malaysia. I picked a nifty little slogan (actually, I nicked it off the Internet) which says: “Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia!” Turns out, I strike lucky as we eventually are required to shout out what we wrote loudly and clearly for everyone else to see. And when I mean everyone, this includes the busybody outside the classroom from other LDK sessions who are free (busybody) enough to laugh at us! In fact, I pity some of my group mates like Chew who wrote quite a long slogan; he went hoarse trying to shout his slogan for the third time. In fact, Adele and Khai Zhi wrote a lot of stuff on the slogan they are suppose to create. Adele wrote a lot of words surrounding her little heart in the middle. In the end, she asked the facilitators if she can just choose one of the things she wrote. However, Khai Zhi is sneakier. Everyone was laughing when Khai Zhi was called to present his slogan. Why? Cause Khai Zhi did not just wrote one slogan, he wrote countless amount of them! He would faint before he can finish what he wrote for the first round. So, he quickly chose one of the phrases he wrote and write it down on the other side of the paper. Saved!

Now, for the much awaited kembara! Our group 12 was supposed to be paired with group 5 to quicken up the trip. We first started out by having to go under barb wires. Unfortunately, it was pouring in the morning and the pathway under the wires is full with puddles of muddy water. So, the members of the Groups before us are lagging up the line because they took every single precaution to have the least contact with the ground or water as possible. This often cause their shirts to got stuck with the barb wires. When it is my turn, I waited until Chew (the person before me) almost reached the end already before I enter underneath the barb wires. I am not afraid of getting a little dirty and instead of edging at the edges like others do. I went full scale and just crawled through the whole lane, muddy waters and all. However, once I almost reached the end, Chew had not finish the path yet. I need to patiently wait behind him, soaking myself with a mud bath πŸ™

Sadly, that is the obstacle we passed through out of the many which are behind the boys’ block. Next, we went trekking across a road and into an oil palm plantation. Sorry, no more natural forest around the camp to be explored. We were just following the pathway according to the pointers along it. Then, we reach a parit! It is actually just a flooded waterway either providing water or taking water away from the plantation. Our task is to cross through this stinky, slimy, and disgusting water one way or another. I took a leap of faith and jump right in there. It is very enjoyable; in fact, I went through it twice just to experience it for the second time. However, the groups after discover a easier method of crossing. The boys can just jump across the waterway where the banks are closer together. What is the point of this if you all just jump across it like that!

Almost everyone took a long time cleaning themselves (except me) with the mineral water we bought along, which was suppose to be drink, not hygiene! But hullo, hullo, after some more trekking, we reached yet again another parit. Haha, so much for cleaning up earlier on. Unfortunately for the guys, you cannot jump across this one, so, you all need to get dirty as well. Except, this time I do not want to be too long in the water. It stinks worse than the previous parit. And I am not sure whether I want to know what I am stepping on underneath the water surface.

From there onwards, it was smooth sailing for us. Along the way, the view was quite good. Green shrubs every way although you cannot expect to see some of the native forest here. Since I always want to compete in one way or another, I actually wanted to complete the trail before group 5 does. However, my group members (Jason, Khai Zhi and Adele!) turns out to be slowpokes and walk slowly while the rest of us are far ahead and need to stop from time to time so that they can catch up. πŸ™

The best thing was what occurs after we finish kembara. Due to dissatisfaction with the dirtiness she experienced, Adele said: “When I go back, I will take a scissor and cut right across my shirt so that I won’t dirtied my face.” Turns out, she did exactly what she said and more. During dinner, we found out that Adele cut open her shirt with a blade and chuck it all into the dustbin. She then shampooed her hair four times until she finished up all her expensive, branded shampoo! Next, she throws away her pants as well as her expensive Nike shoes because it got dirty with the mud and she do not want to keep it. Talk about a waste. If she had given it to me, I would had washed them up and sell them again second hand. Sad, I do not even have the opportunity to throw away any of my dirty, muddy shoes just like that πŸ™ Yes, I washed my shoe and bought them back again. It was all fun and laughter that night after the kembara because we had a great time in the afternoon and there is a lot to share and gossip around then.

In fact, Adele asked Encik Khalid to help scout “someone”‘s personality in group 14 because she reckons that since Encik Khalid is such a great liar, he must help her to review first to see if that “someone” is also a liar or not. πŸ˜›

It would had been a celebration throughout the night if not because that the next day is an examination for us of what we learned during BTN. To help us, they supplied us with four books to supplement our knowledge. So, a lot do last minute cramming while I err… fell asleep after going through a book or so. After all, there is still time in the next morning.

As of Day 5, they is nothing much here really. In the morning, we do a full morning ceremony before going to breakfast and then enter the exam hall. The exams are quite different from what I expect as they got to do more with general knowledge compared with what they provided in the books. Luckily, I read a lot during my secondary and college years and so, knows a thing or two about what the answers are. In fact, quite a few exit after just thirty minutes doing the questions. I do not think there are anyone who stays until the time is up before they left the hall because most of us left as soon as we are finish and double-check a few times.

We are scheduled to go back right after that but unfortunately, the buses will not be arriving so soon. So, we get to stay back and enjoyed more food from the kitchen. I don’t think they are prepared for us staying so long and just prepared a couple dishes for us. However, group 12 being the ever hungry group went on and ask for refills of the chicken several times until they runs out of them and cooked a new batch of chicken dishes for us. πŸ˜›

Then, the buses come. And as I went up the bus and sit on my seat. I really miss Kem Bumi Jati and do not want to leave the place. Sentimental, you may think. But, the truth is that, I do not want to go back because of the humongous and laborious work of washing five days and four nights worth of dirty clothes and muddy shoes once I returned to the INTI hostel.

Series of Unfortunate Events – BTN Part 2

Despite having a hectic week, here is the continuation for my Biro Tatanegara experience.

On the 3rd day of torture, we suppose to have our fitness test in the morning. But luckily (or unluckily for them), it was raining heavily in the morning. So, we received our usual rounds of shouting friendly advice from KJ.

And after that, we began the first LDK (Latihan dalam Kumpulan). Group 12 facilitators are Encik Khalid and Encik Aziz. And never in my life had I ever meet a trio who can laugh as much as they do – Adele Lee, Khai Zhi, and Jason Chia. Trust me, get anywhere near them and they will brighten up your day indefinitely with their infectious laughter. In fact, Adele claimed she toned her abs during these few days in BTN because she laugh too much and it toughens her muscles.

In LDK, they taught us about patriotism and other things such as brainwashing us with useless opinions! I said opinions, NOT facts because opinions are what you think of based on the given facts. And it is a fact that they never give any view from another point of view. Still, LDK is very interesting. Encik Khalid supplement it with some of his little brainteasers.

Here is one of them:

“I have an aunt in in Perak. She lived near Kampung Buaya. It is famous for the presence of crocodiles there. One day, when she was washing clothes on the river bank with her son, a crocodile suddenly snatch off her child and into the river. She tried to retrieve him but to no avail. So, she cried out to the village men and asked for help. The village men went on crocodile hunting and they caught a small one with flat belly. They asked my aunt what to do with it. My aunt said to gut it and they did, Turns out the crocodile stomach is empty and they went on hunting again. This continues on the same for the next ten crocodiles until they discovered the next one with a fat belly. The village men captured it and with my aunt order, gut it. Turns out, they found dead baby crocodiles in her belly. My aunt saw this and become remorseful. She remembered about her own child and asked the village men not to capture any more crocodiles.

The infamous crocodiles.

So, what is the moral behind this story? Encik Khalid later asked whether we felt sad or not. How do we feel about his aunt and what about all the dead crocodiles?

That guy is damn suspense. I sense something about this and he knows about it, so, he didn’t ask about my opinion until I am the last person. The rest all answered like they felt very sad. Some even at the verge of tears. When it was my turn, I …

Sometimes, being unique and moves against the crowd may not be a bad thing after all.

I said that I will not feel any sadness or any remorse for his aunt’s action. Because, you see: Crocodiles lay eggs, they do not carry them in their bellies. Haha. Guess only someone with genius like me can see through his lies.

We continue on with some discussions and debates etc. A lot of laughs are ensured as our three kookaburras liven up the atmosphere. No living souls are spared as we keep on digging up weaknesses in each others arguments. Oh, the primitive feeling of triumph whenever success is obtained is comparable to that of our forefathers when they succeed in returning home with hunts on their back. πŸ˜›

Next, we all have the fitness test. Turns out I am quite healthy with the body age of a thirty years old. The best is a twenty years old. Heck, I am not even twenty years old yet. I only did badly in the pulse test where they check our pulse rate after doing all these exercise, a measly B rating πŸ™

And now, I will explained how I think my group has the largest appetite of everyone there. That night during dinner, the kitchen served prawns (not fresh at all!) and some other assorted dishes. We finish up everything on the table instantly. Then, one by one finish their fill and they left. Soon, only five of us – Adele, Chew, Khai Zhi, Jason and I are left. We sorta like compete among each other to see who can eat more, but Adele is just accompanying us. And since one of our group members didn’t show up for dinner, the five of us finish a six person course. Later on, we go and refill the prawn dish for the first time. Eat, eat, eat and all was gone. By now, everyone in the dining finish and left already. But then, we were still hungry and went on to take more rice and a second plate of prawns. Haha, the gluttonous group. Pak “Cencaluk” (One of the Jurulatih there) saw us and bring the whole tray (yes! the whole tray) of prawns to our table and said: “Wah, sure can eat a lot. One, two, three, four, and five. Finish up all these prawns here or do pumping tomorrow!” Don’t worry, he is not angry, but a jolly fellow at that. We tried and we finish our second refill of prawns. By then, we began scoping off the prawns in the tray into our plates but it is really overkill.

In the end, I am the only one left eating and even I cannot finish the prawns there. So, we admitted defeat and returned the tray to the kitchen. Then, we continued on to wash our plates. But, there is still a sense of pride there because if you look into the dustbins (those black ones you found in schools), the surface is entirely red as we dumped a whole lot of prawns’ shells inside it until you cannot see anything else but a thick layer of red only. Haha, see the strength of stomachs! Before I left the dining hall, I still went to the excess fruit basket and took something for dessert. Talk about filling your stomach. Few hours later, we are all well and ready for supper. πŸ˜›

Labor Day?

Why is Labor Day a public holiday? Seriously, it is call Labor Day, not Holi-day. Wonder why people stop working on this particular day when they should be working their butts off. See, that is the meaning of labor, you work, not laze off sleeping like it is your off day. If anyone wanted to show their appreciation towards the workers aka slaves, this holiday should be known as Labor Relief Day. Or better yet, let it be known as Lu’s Day to commemorate me for unknown reasons. Still, it is a public holiday and “Happy Holiday, Everyone!” πŸ™‚

Series of Unfortunate Events – BTN Part 1

Patriotism is something you instilled yourself inside you, not something to be taught through any government camp.

Last week, I had a date with BTN – Biro Tatanegara in Kem Bumi Jati, Shah Alam. I was pondering on whether I should put anything here at all since the contents of the camp are highly controversial and biased.

Well, let us start with day 1. Stupid INTI caused me to wake up early on a Sunday morning to board a bus to Kem Bumi Jati although registration was only supposed to start from 2 to 4 pm. Reason for that: Not enough bus. Still, journey in the bus was quite entertaining despite I do not have enough sleep because the “peoples” had been hogging the washing machine the night before and I could only washed my clothes around 3 am. Knowing the sleepless nature of such camps, I was hoping that I could hold on even for the first day. So, I try to sleep in the bus but for unknown reasons, I just cannot close my eyes. Therefore, I enjoyed the journey by looking at our bus making wrong turns and getting lost and hearing “someone” asking when will we reach there. ^_^

Once we reached there, we dropped our bags and head inside the hall for quick briefing and registration. But before that, I forgot all about my midnight snacks in the bus and quickly went back to retrieve them. Don’t know how many times these supplies satisfy my hunger despite us having six meals a day there. What! I am a growing boy, I need all the nutrients I can get and don’t call me plump, I just have big bones. Haha.

With our quick registration and late incoming second batch of participants, it means the prisoners of Kem Bumi Jati have a few hours to burn before the first activity started. Plus, the dorm where we are supposed to stay is very hot and stuffy, very few can sleep well inside and those that managed to sleep, suffers headache soon after that. So, I went out to the dining hall where I listen to conversation and brush up my Chinese by retaking a basic course in it. Chew was teaching Jeanie about basic pronunciation in Chinese but I fell asleep during his ah…lecture. Sorry about that.

As you can see, the first day is really pretty uneventful. The briefing holds nothing memorable, perhaps maybe a glimpse into the torture we will endure over the next few days.

Still, the food they served are superb , hey, they are free. That is why I like them, and they really do taste quite good too.

Sleeping here obviously is no problem for me since I display my uncanny ability to sleep anywhere where I can fall asleep even in the midst of a racket by the boys’ conversations. Having Kelvin Khor as my bunker bed partner is really enjoyable also.

However, showering naked with other guys is still something I am not used too. So, I showered in the cubicle instead ^_^ Sure, “what you have, I have too”, there is nothing to be shy about in the shower. But still, showering with the mentally unstable Jacks can often lead to undesirable consequences. So, I played safe and opt for isolation.

Now comes Day 2 of Imprisonment. Early that morning, we were split into different groups. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in any group along with a few other participants. So, we called ourselves Group 15 but later, got changed into Group 12 since they cannot find any Group 12.

I may be tooting my horn here, but I have to admit, Group 12 is the best in the camp. No other groups can even match our noisiness and non stop laughter plus ferocious appetite by even a mile.

The day continue with lectures given by invited, paid speakers to present our modules. So, obviously, their views are slanted and pro-government. Nothing bad at all since they are invited by the government. But seriously, some of their comments and opinions are so baseless which could easily be rebutted if someone really tries. I asked some questions to the invited speakers and they did reply, although not responses which fully satisfied me. In fact, one of the speakers messed up so much with my question, that everyone around me knows he handled the answer the wrong way. If you know what I mean. In fact, the only thing I got out of the four lectures is to hate foreign countries, mainly *** and *********. Still, there is an entertainment value from the last speaker, where he tries to flirt around with Norihan on the stage. Not sure whether ****** will like it or not. And, I can see that there are no speakers of other races, except for Malays there. Wonder why, huh, since the content is slightly discriminating between races when our government itself has been lauding for a “Bangsa Malaysia”, but now doing the totally opposite?

After that, everything went as the schedule dictates and we crawled back to bed by 12 pm. And that is the end of Day 2.

As you can see, there are no pictures up here since we were told that no electronic devices were allowed in the camp beforehand. So, very few people bought any handphones or cameras here, but security is so lax. I should had bought my camera along to record my experiences. πŸ™

Track-a-Passport?

Oh, I just saw, touch and feel an authentic, real live Malaysia passport. Then, I notice; Why is there a little square bulged at the back of the book! A little deduction caused me to believe that the passport is equipped with a tracking system chip used to tracked all Malaysians wherever they go. There’s a deep government conspiracy behind this! Ah, paranoid much…

Chessing in IMU

The pawns are the soul of the game. While weak in strength, when combined, they have enough to topple even the king.

Last Saturday was the MAPCU 2008 Chess Competition, and luckily (or was it rather unlucky?), yours truly was chosen to represent INTI in it. Not because my skills were any good, but because they got not enough people to join it.

And so, I have to wake up extra early T_T on a Saturday morning for a long…. morning trip from Nilai to IMU, Bukit Jalil.

IMU is not that bad actually, at least from the outside when I reached there.

IMU – International Medical University. (How international must you get to have that name?)

Oh, structure covered with glass. Very modern and stylish. Tilt your head to see it upright. I already have an opinion that IMU spent a lot on the architecture and design. Therefore, inside must be very beautiful.

Inside was not bad too (although quite plain), but then…

What! How come the interior look like this?

And this sign again. The arbiter said that IMU had been hosting this tournament for six years. Does this means that the conditions inside IMU had been like that for six years!

Haha, meet the gathering of the geeks (myself included). Nah, actually, I believed each of us here are unique in our own ways.

And this is INTI Team A during the last round. Result of it, INTI 4 – 0 Unknown Opponents

Once the tournament is over, we head back over to INTI, hehe, but not before I snap a shot of myself holding the victory cup. ^_^ Try and guess what position INTI Team B obtained. πŸ˜›

Of Sausage McMuffin or Flight to Home

With wings to travell everywhere, a bird still return to one place it calls home

With wings to fly everywhere, a bird still returns to the one place it calls “home”.

Today, I am finally able to return home. Due to BTN, I had my holiday shortened into a one week period of bliss.

And so, I went to LCCT to board my flight back to Kota Kinabalu. With all of AirAsia’s latest troublesome policy about luggage weight, I decided to play safe and abide by the regulations and kept my luggage to the bare minimum weight. But, when I check in, they neither ask for the RM5 for my luggage nor check the weight of my hand luggage, which was suppose to be ceilinged at 7kg. Guess a lot of people sneak in a few extra pound because of this.

Now, the funny thing is that I almost missed my flight due to the wimp of my stomach. After checking-in, I decided to get myself something to eat with the free coupon for Sausage McMuffin from McD, which I obtained from INTI (Thanks INTIMA). However, the queue was long and by the time I get my burger, there was only half an hour left before my flight took off. There is nothing to worry of, I thought and instead proceed with my usual pace. To my chagrin, the last in the line of people had just left to board the plane. Turns out the plane arrived early and I am unlucky enough to be the first few left behind by the main crowd. So, I stick around waiting for other late entrances like me as well. After that, we board the plane like VIPs, everyone has to wait for us but then, all the window side seats are took already πŸ™

One of AirAsia planes that landed on LCCT.

A rare sight indeed. An AirAsia plane in blue! This is the plane which is sponsored to AT&T. Guess AirAsia branding is working very well. Even I associate a red plane with the AirAsia signature. AirAsia must be earning quite a lot to be able to afford to sponsor another team aside from Manchester United. Too bad I didn’t contribute additional income because I fell asleep during the flight and didn’t buy any meals from them. ^_^. Save more money! $$$

2008 MAPCU Chess Competition Result

Just a short snippet here. Finish my MAPCU 2008 Chess Competition in IMU, Bukit Jalil, and I have to say not too shabby, the result.Β  We manage to emerge in the top half out of the 19 teams from different universities and colleges which participate here.

***

Plus, I am going back home to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah tomorrow! Home Sweet Home.

MAPCU Chess

Holla, just a short shout out here that tomorrow, I will be going to IMU, Bukit Jalil for the annual MAPCU Chess Competition. Due to the Biro Tatanegara Camp which just ended yesterday, I had my brain brainwashed with government propaganda and somehow, I think I lost my magical touch with my chess pieces T___T

Since my skills on the chessboard are crappy, I need all the love I can get, so, wish me luck! And see you there. Watch out IMU, Capablanca is out to conquer you.