Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Waves

After 21 years of having straight hair, I decided to go wavy.

Before I actually went and perm them, I took quite a long time to actually finalize my decision. See, I have intention to perm them but to actually really perm them, is another story.

What if curly hair doesn't suit me?

I'll look mature, which I don't really want to, considering my kiddy look and attitude.

I have a small face so would I look like a lion after perming?

You'll probably think, it's just a hairstyle. Why over think? Hair grows, just cut them off if I don't like it. Or I can easily straighten them back. Perhaps, it's just my nature to resist changes. No, let me rephrase that. Perhaps it's my nature to resist changes that will put me in a disadvantage. Perhaps this is why I'm in the science field, an analytical field. Probably the reason why I'm not doing business or some fields that involves immeasurable risks. Don't get me wrong. I do take risks, measurable risk. I just don't like the idea of putting myself in a disadvantage.

So, yes. Even as simple as changing my hairstyle is considered as putting myself in a risk. I'm actually glad that I thought of perming my hair, it made me realize this side of me.

And heck, which girl will risk being ugly anyway? Lol.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Officially Ended My Degree

So, I've officially finished my degree with my recent convocation on Saturday.

I remember it was such a big day for my brothers and sisters. They were getting all excited days before the convocation. As for me, I actually felt nonchalant. It was like, "Well, just a ceremony." I don't feel the excitement some of my friends have. Why? I don't know. Probably I thought it is going to be boring or probably it because of the location etc.

Turned out, the day wasn't that boring after all. I get to meet my friends and snap plenty of photos- that's for sure. I have the opportunity to have a couple of pictures with the VIPs on that day, Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik and Dr. Leonard Yong. Also, I met unexpected people like my friends from foundation and back from secondary school.

It was very nostalgic how memories of my first day in foundation flood my mind while I was in the hall. They were still fresh in my mind. It was as if they were just last week when I was in foundation. When did time actually rocketed pass me?

All the hardship (well, not that hard actually. I was partially enjoying my youth as well.) of mind torturing for exams, squeezing time between tests, assignments and reports, copying and doing last minute tutorials, sleeping in lecture calls or skipping class. They were suddenly forgotten on that day. Suddenly, it felt as there were no hard times throughout the 4 years. Even the hard times were made fun of and they became a joyful event.

The end of degree doesn't mark the end of learning. What did I learn in degree? Plenty. It's not just academic. It's a whole a lot more than that. There are friends, stress, being crazy, family, being away from home and money. Most importantly, I think is that degree taught me how to be think. When I mention 'think', I don't simply mean everyday thinking like what to wear, what to eat or how to finish a homework.

I can't teach you all those. They are something with no theory to read or practical to understand. Therefore, these are the real valuable stuff I learnt in my degree.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Phone- Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

I've always been a Sony Ericsson fan. I think they produce the best phone for me. Before this, I've experienced with some phones, from Sony Ericsson and non. I used to buy cheap phone with basic functions because I thought I don't need them. I just need to call and send messages. Now, I think I have a phone opposite to what I used to have. I own a phone with one of the best functions.

To start off with, this phone has a 8 mega pixel high definition camera. The qualilty of photos taken are, therefore impeccable. The lack of camera features is just a minor drawback since lots of photo/camera related applications can be easily downloaded to this Android 2.3 operating system.

An example of photo taken with the phone camera.

The 4.2" wide screen came in handy with this touch screen phone. Navigating through the applications, browsing the web and playing games are so easy. Although the screen is wide, this phones is not at all bulky. In fact, the Xperia Arc is one of the slimmest phone in the market today.

There are a lot specs I can write about but you can probably get them from the webs. I would certainly say for RM 1700, the Xperia Arc is no doubt, a fantastic phone. In fact, I honestly think this phone is comparable to an iPhone. Special thanks to my brother, whom got this phone for me :D

Oh yea, this update is fully performed using my new phone.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

First Step

Question : Which field do I like most in Life Sciences?

I'm in Biotechnology and this field branches into many other fields. Do I like to work with humans, animals, plants, microorganisms, or extinct lives? Or perhaps non-living objects such as food, technology and the environment? Do I like a micro-analysis like genetics, biomolecular, biochemistry or do I prefer macro-analysis like ecology, ethology and botany?

I know Life Sciences is very broad but I did not really focus on the 'large scale' part, rather I've been working (during FYP and now as RA) on the molecular and microbiology part. So, maybe I prefer to do lab work with minimum strength used rather than going out under the sun and get some samples and do tests on them.

So, I like to stay in lab and use lab apparatus. This might just mean I like to deal with molecular level, but this haven't answer another question- what do I want to do with this tool/technique?

Do I want to get involved with humans? Create artificial organs, do gene therapy, find a cure for cancer or study human diseases?

Do I want to get involved with the plants? Study their stress responses, diseases defend, increase their yield, or produce genetically modified plants?

Or maybe I want to get involved with the invisible bacteria and viruses? Study their protein trafficking, interaction with each other, or modify them to be useful to human?

Lots of reading to do.

So many questions and such a long process to get to know myself better. What do I like? When I asked myself this question, I thought of the primary reason I chose Biotech years ago- I want to be a genetic engineer. I want to help the environment. With these 2 short answers in mind, perhaps I can take the next step and ask myself, what and how do I want to help the environment?

A good advice from my supervisor, "Like the Science, not the technique."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Messy Head

It has been almost a month since I last updated.

So, now I'm back in Kampar, starting my project as an RA. I realize all the academic learning I went through in any level in education institutes taught me a lot of theories. Theories are all the same. They are all reading and understanding. You may like a certain subject because it triggers your curiosity but the hands-on practical for this subject may be boring. Thus, these theories did not 'teach' me what I actually like to do. It's like I'm okay with everything but there is no one specific field that I am really into. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm not liking my current project. I'm doing molecular work now and I enjoy it. I just thought, if I was exposed to more fields, then perhaps I would know which field I really like.. or at least which I do not.

There's a lot in my head right now. I got to solve things one at a time. Hopefully with determination comes success.. and hopefully, the success comes quickly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Starting The Second Phase

As you know, I've already finished my degree last May. In 2 and a half months time will be my convocation. After resting for a month at home, it is finally the time for the kick start of my second phase- my master degree.

I'll be returning Kampar soon and be an RA (Research Assistant) while waiting for the application of my masters program.

Many of my friends went different paths. Some have already started working, some choose the same path as me while some are still trying to figure out what they want to do. I'll missed them, especially when I return to lab.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Visit to Guang Xi, China.

I just came back from the Guang Xi province not long ago. My family members and I went for an 8 days tour and we visited Guilin, Hezhou, Yangshuo, Lipu and Xingan. This time, instead of summarizing what I experience each day, I'll tell you the interesting facts I discovered in Guang Xi. Facts different from what we see in our country.

1. Road.
I don't know if I should comment that Chinese are very terrible or good drivers. They are very scary drivers. They turn when they feel like turning and stop in the middle of the road even if there are cars behind. There are a lot, really A LOT of motorcyclist and cyclists on the road to make the matter worse. Not only car drivers need to avoid other cars, they need to keep an eye on the motorcyclist and pedestrians whom go in random directions. There is no one minute that I cannot hear honks. And I mean honkS. However, they are good drivers because despite the complicated and busy road, there are very little road accidents.

The Chinese driving on the left already confused me, having a very busy and complicated road system did not help much. There are very little traffic lights on the road.

The motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians are not afraid of bigger vehicles, even buses and lorries. They will not budge an inch even when the vehicle is just one foot behind.

When I mention motorcyclists, I do not really mean the petrol-driven motorbikes. Majority of the motorbikes (like 95%) are electrical bikes. They are as big as the usual motorbikes and are allowed to cruise on main roads and even highways like the normal bikes. But, electric motorcyclists do not need to wear helmets, like they are not prone to accidents as the petrol-driven motorcyclists. In fact, only motorbike taxi drivers need to wear helmets. Maybe helmets are part of their uniform. Helmets do not serve the purpose of protection.

Also, the fare to use highways are very costly. Approximately 250km in Malaysia, like from Klang to Kampar costs RM 25. Over in Guang Xi, the same distance cost up to 220RMB, that is about RM 110!

2. People.
There are 56 ethnics in China as opposed to the 3 main ones in Malaysia. In China, the majority are the Hans (I am a Han as well!). Other ethnics whom village I've visited are the Yao, Zhuang, and Hakka among others which name I do not remember. Each tribe lives in an area and speak their own dialect. Unlike how majority of (Malaysian) Chinese in Klang speak Hok'kien even though they are not Hok'kien people, the (China) Chinese only speak their tribe dialect and Mandarin. They do not understand other dialects. As oppose to this, due to media influences, many (Malaysian) Chinese can speak Cantonese as an additional dialect.

Each ethnic also have their own culture. For instance, one of the tribes which name I've forgotten, measure beauty by the darkness of the skin. Also, the man with the darkest skin gets to become the village leader. Although there are also Hakkas in Malaysia, they are not sensitive towards words like "xiao jie" (miss). However, Hakkas in the Hakka village (in Yangshuo), are very, very sensitive towards the word "xiao jie". "Xiao jie" should not be addressed to girls as this word is only used for prostitutes. The Hakka houses are also easily recognized by the display of their family name on the door.

The Chinese are very talented. I can confidently say that they are the only race in the world that can perform amazing acrobatic shows. Amazing! Small girls bend like they are boneless and small boys have the strength that could fight a bull. Imagine the discipline they have to train since they were toddlers.

One of the best acrobatic show ever!

How did they even thought of using ducks to fish?

Also, I've noticed that compared to Malaysia, there are lesser, who do I put this? Let's just say fleshy girls. No, I'm not saying that Malaysian girls are fat. Certainly no. I've seen supermodel slim figures. But I've noticed that in Guang Xi, only 1 out of 200 girls are fat. Even old ladies are thin. Besides, unlike how there are a handful of guys who have their ears pierced, I've never seen even just one guy with pierced ear in Guang Xi. Why?

3. Food.
If you think you like Chinese food in Malaysia, you might not have the same thought when you try real Chinese food. They are so very different from our Chinese food. They do not have 'bah kut teh' or 'char kueh teow' or 'laksa'. People in Guang Xi likes sour and spicy. They have a local specialty which smells, excuse me, but it smells like unwashed toilet. Their breakfast are porridge, mantou, their local 'mee hoon' (which, I swear are noodles!), noodles (which are 'kueh teow' ==), dumplings, pau with 'mee hoon' inside, soya bean milk and some weird kuih-muih. I've never been to Shanghai but according to my mom, she said in Shanghai people likes eating sweet stuff. Every dish is added with sugar. How weird... but similarly, if the Chinese came over to Malaysia, they might feel our food is weird. Lol.


So-called 'mee hoon'.


While I was having a stroll in Hezhou one night, just to experience their night life. My dad discovered something, which to me is horrifying. Apparently, there were hawker stalls which sells exotic animal flesh. These stalls provide the service of slaughtering and cooking any type of animal meat you want to have that night. Snakes, dogs, you name it. Cruelty!

Guang Xi have their locally made beer. With alcohol level of only 3%, there's no problem drinking the whole bottle yourself.

There are also plenty restaurants I saw in Guang Xi which tables are no higher than 2 feet and instead of chairs, customers sit on short stools. Feels like China, yes. Lol.

4. Environment.
Well, I would say the government spent a lot and made an effort to preserve the natural and beautiful environment. It is indeed, the best place for photo-taking. Parks looked like ancient China, like those we see in TVB dramas. Even newly build building have ancient Chinese influence instead of adopting modern architecture. According to the tour guide, there are over 300,000 hills/mountains in Guang Xi, the state with the most mountains. So, yes, Guang Xi is a vacation spot for sight seeing.

Mom, tasau and niece. Hilly background is obscured by thick mist.

On the other hand, I personally feel Guang Xi, although the parks and vacation spots are kept clean, other public areas like the walkway, roads, certain restaurants and open air shopping area are not as clean. There were papers and cards everywhere. The ground are constantly wet with dirt mark everywhere. What I can't handle most is people throwing rubbish on the floor when there's rubbish bins around. Perhaps more effort should be put into keeping the whole town clean.

 Underground shopping place. Not that clean.

Well, that's all I can think of now. After gaining a few kgs and a few shades darker, I'm back with more experience. It's kind of irony thinking how we are all Chinese, with the same skin colour and common ancestors, we are actually very different from each other.