Saturday, December 21, 2013

Leave or be left...

It has been a blurry couple of days.

I started the week dreaming of a few people I really cared about. Funny, I can't be sure the feeling is reciprocal. But I still do care and think about them from time to time. Well, I guess that's why the dream appears - in my subconcious mind they are always in my life. I wish we can always stay close to one another. Have fun together, share ups and downs together, but I know it's almost impossible. Our attachments, logistics, lifestyles and professions will almost never cross path. That way, life has been cruel to me. But seriously - all I can really attest to: I miss them. Nothing I do or say, can change that fact.

Sometimes, in life, at its different stages, you need to be left behind and you'll need to leave someone behind. I guess it's the natural cycle of relationships. Not that you no longer care, you still do, but a lot of things change, and you know they no longer serve your self development and you yourself can no longer do the same for them. It hurts, but that's just the way things are. Perhaps some day, Allah will make us cross path again. Then who knows we'll just pick up from where we left off. :-)

A/T: Afgan sang:

"Andai engkau tahu betapa ku mencinta
Selalu menjadikanmu isi dalam doaku
Ku tahu tak mudah menjadi yang kau pinta
Ku pasrahkan hatiku, takdir kan menjawabnya"

Do our best, and leave the rest to Him. :-)

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Good Idea

Excited to do "Clean after play" Chores :-)

Once upon a night, Aliyah came to me and said:

Aliyah: Mama, I have a good idea!

Me: How do you know it's a good idea?

Aliyah: Because I've found a way to spend your money 'cermatily' (her exact choice of word haha)

Me: So how do we do that? (with genuine curiosity, since she wants to spend my money hehe)

Aliyah: Nanti bila Mama dapat gaji, Mama have to grant us, me and Uwais, one or two wish. One wish is to spend below 6 dollars or another wish can be to spend below 10 dollars.

Me: So ok, errr how do you deserve to get such wish?

Aliyah: Well, you can give us chores. It's up to you how you give us marks. Then you must grant us our wish.

Me: :-D

(Dalam hati, aiii dah mcm Genie plak aku ni hehe...bijak, bijak...)

A while later, I finally discovered why she kept mentioning dollars and not ringgit. She said it's difficult to count in ringgit. Rupanya she's eyeing the price of some of the game on the App Store on her Ipad. Clever girl! Now clever Mama has to find an excuse not to let her use up her 'wish' un'cermatily' hehe

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Me

I have been really trying to diversify my teaching styles and methods this semester. Instead of starting off my class running, I took the first few classes getting the students to express themselves, opening up on either why they chose to be in their current course, or what do they think of their course so far, or what impressions do they have on the subject they're taking with me.

As much as 'the exercise' has been a revelation to them, themselves and their classmates, it had also been an eye-opening experience for me. I realised that all of them are not merely just another batch of my students, but each and every single one of them have their own story to tell. They have battled their own struggles and problems and they have their own aspirations and dreams. I realised that in my bid to finalised my syllabus every semester, I have often unintentionally dehumanized my students and myself in class. In the past, my lesson plans only comprise of which topics I should cover this week. No more and no less, but somehow by that I was hoping they can coped like any 'good student' out there. I realised I could have done so much more. It was a missed oppurtunity, many missed opportunity, I realised that now. So I really took my time, this time. And I'm glad I did. It seems to have an effect, an unexplained one. I could feel it but it's fairly difficult to described. Something along the like of what happened today.


Today, 3 of my students came late to my class. They apologized for being late, for they've gone to the wrong venue (today was the first time the class was conducted at the current venue). I find that excuse acceptable, but what is not was the sudden smell of cigarettes that came with their 'arrival'.The thing is, I am sensitive to the smell of cigarettes, especially in an air-conditioned or a closed up room/area. It will immediately caused me to suffer from a mild headache and of course will alter my mood (and therefore my lecture). I know either one of them (or all 3) have been smoking fairly very recent before they came to class.

So I suddenly took a break from what was being planned in class then and tell them how I feel about smoking. And I guess it caught them off guard when I told them of my 'sensitivity' and questioned their rationale for still sticking to smoking. I hope they will consider my 'issue' with it before they decide to smoke before attending my class. Truthfully, for some part of the hour I had to stay close to an opened window to ward off my incoming headache. Alhamdulillah, we finished the class and they were dispersed.

But something unexpected happened. As I was about to walk along the corridor heading to my car, one of the boys called me from behind, "Madam."
I turned around and said "Yes?" 
And he said, "I'm sorry, Madam, I was the one smoking just now." He promised not to do it again.

In my mind then, I was thinking, I must have done something right. Because this is rare. At least for me. I don't get many students admitting to doing something wrong and apologizing. For being late, that's normal, but for smoking? Not so much. I guess, he can see how much it upsets me, because clearly I was.

I told him to quit smoking, but not so much for all the obvious reasons, but more so due to it being an expensive habit. He said something along the line, that he's trying to quit. I do pray and hope he'll be successful at that quitting venture. I know it's not going to be easy, but at least now he knows, there's this one lecturer of his that's really affected by it, so he will be careful the next time he planned on smoking before my class.

I do wonder, had I've been the kind of lecturer I was last 2 semesters, would he still be doing the same thing? I guess I will never know, since I'm not back to being the old me :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Have you done all it takes...

Every time someone famous died, especially when they are at their 'prime', statements bordering on the absurd will be made, even becoming a catalyst for heated debates. 

But a couple of days ago, I found something different on Instagram (IG). Something that as a Muslim makes me wonder, something that somehow or another make me ask myself - am I really making full use of my time here in this life, is it enough in preparation for my next life?

"Paul Walker (the actor from the 'Fast and the Furious movies) passed away earlier today and this was the state of the car that he died in. There are some lessons we can learn from his death. One of the main lessons is that you will die the way you lived your life. So if you live your life in the fast lane, you will also die in the fast lane. If you live your life by the gun, you will also die by the gun. If you live a righteous life, Allah Azzawajal will in His infinite Mercy give you a righteous death. 

Many people think these celebrities are untouchable but the reality is different. I bet he was looking forward to the release of his new 'Fast and the Furious' film next year, without thinking he may be dead by then. Most of us do the same thing. We think about the future and ignore the fact that we may pass away before our plans become a reality. Only Allah Azzawajal knows how long we have left in this world. Many of us may not be alive next week and that is the honest truth. So make the most of every minute you have in this world and do as much as you can for your Akhirah because as you can see from the picture, all it takes is a wrong move of the steering wheel and you are gone." ~ islamicknowledge1's IG.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Can you see what I see?

Nothing can hide the fact that I am very disappointed with my current predicament. Alhamdulillah, there must be some wisdom behind it all that I am yet to understand or will ever be made to understand.

But if by showing my disappointment somehow translated as me being demanding, ungrateful, and troublesome, then I guess you don’t really know me.

Full Stop

Well, at least that was what, and how I felt last week. This week I am too tired chasing after my hours and hours of classes that I cannot feel anything much except for exhaustion. I guess age is catching up with me or it's the stress of having too many teaching hours. But I really do love my job. It's just that I can't say I have equivalent feelings for the people who runs this place where I spent most hours of my day. Yes, not everyone wanted to be here, and do this. I do, well at least I still feel like doing it, but not at the expense of my health. They said they'll pay us for those extra hours. But I can't take that money if I can't perform, if I'm too exhausted to even speak and handle classes, and thus perform half-heartedly. 

Seriously, for as long as this place runs two main academic calendars (degrees & diplomas) with inadequate personnel and facilities, on a non parallel schedule, nothing much will change. This is total 'crapness' of the highest order, especially when we are all stressed into running an overlapped academic sessions!!!

Nowadays, not only that the powers that be thought everything is under control, (because they never had to teach more than 10 hours per week anyway) and continue with less than average welfare concerns for this dying breed of passionate lecturers, even some of the students carry themselves as if being here is a birth right of theirs and they can do no wrong. But of course, there will be days, when students whom you gave your trust and respect, respect you back by being trustworthy, respectable and reliable. Alhamdulillah, that really made everything worth the while.

You can't help but prayed and wished for so many things, but that only leads to frustration, then frustration only leads to stress. So I thought I'd stopped wondering and work at how to make my students learn how to learn. In fact, even that at times leads to frustration. But at least I think I have some amount of 'control' over what I want them to learn. I believe a good change always starts small but consistent. Istiqamah, that's the key. But seriously, at times it's difficult to be consistent, when you're simply fed up with things. It's like I thought I'm making progress, but the truth is I'm barely moving. But I can't give up, right? Soldier on, right? Well, whatever it is this song really says it all, my brain is too exhausted to make my own conclusion:

This town is colder now, I think it's sick of us
It's time to make our move, I'm shakin' off the rust
I've got my heart set on anywhere but here
I'm staring down myself, counting up the years

Steady hands just take the wheel
Every glance is killing me
Time to make one last appeal
For the life I lead

Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah, I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh

Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Can you see what I see?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Barrakallah, one sis down, one more to go ;-)

Alhamdulillah and our heartiest congratulations to my sister Nurkhairiah Nawi for her marriage solemnization to her beau Hidayatullah Zulkarnaim, a wonderful guy we met while performing our Umrah with our father earlier this year.

Barakallahu fikum. We are extremely happy for both of them. We pray their love will last till Jannah, In Sha Allah 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Guess what?? A Bus Slammed into Aliyah's School

Ironic Motto eh??
Yesterday, Aliyah came home and she seemed over excited about something. "Mama, Aliyah ada surprise!" she said. Then she went chattering tak cukup nafas. What I heard initially, was about guard, bus langgar tanda nama sekolah baru habis rosak, baru jer buat. Kesian yang buat tu...

So I told her to take her showers and come tell me the whole story again. Only when I got this pic, courtesy of my friendNurul Mazrah ( & her cousin) do I see how serious the matter was.

The driver of this express bus, had lost control of the bus and slammed into the gates/walls and the guard house of the school. The building next to the guard house by a couple of inches was Aliyah's classroom block. 

Alhamdulillah, it was recess time. All the girls were having their break in the middle of the school away from the main gates. I heard two adults were injured, including the guard, whom Aliyah claimed was a new guard. Pity her. But it could've been so much worst. Alhamdulillah, none of the girls, who were between 7-9 was injured. 

And while others would be busy discussing how negligent the driver was, Aliyah was busy chattering about the 'excitement' of what happened and how her friends were passing information about the whole incident from one friend to another, turning all of them into Detective Conan  Children's mind at work.

Well, that's really a school end to 2013 to be remembered by all of them. Whatever it is, I am sure everyone is glad they are all safe and sound, Alhamdulillah.

P/S: I read this and terasa spt membuat karangan 'laporan' masa sekolah rendah pulak 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I recently post this on FB.

I didn't know what made it clicks, but I guess it relates to lots of my friends too.

And admitting I am married to a clean freak is somewhat liberating. It was never easy. I have come up with various defense mechanism to face the strains. Some were so high drama escape, I doubt I will ever do it ever again in my life time hehe...I guess I am aging. But wasn't I all the while :-D 

Here's the post:


I just saw Ustaz Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman's posting about his maid running away on FB and I was rather 'wowed!' He even posted her passport picture, advising people against hiring her. He must have been really annoyed (not the best choice of word in this case, tp sbb Ustaz punya pasai, let's be subtle :-P). Definitely ini ujian untuk beliau. Which part is the Ujian - is not on me to point.

Anyway, I have never experienced a maid in my own household. I, myself was cared by a couple of local maids, though. Do I like it? No. Ask me again? Still, it's going to be a NO. So I don't wish my children to be cared by one too. That was my personal experience, some others may view it differently. And my husband also supported me. And Alhamdulillah, we're still managing without one.

But it was never easy to do everything on our own. Countless hours were spent 'bertekak' on household chores and how it was supposed to be done. My husband is a clean freak, but he's immuned to 'mess', while I am not a freakishly clean person, but I can't stand messiness. Imagine the frustration and chaos.

As time goes by, we learn to adapt and we're still learning. He tried to tone down his 'cleaning system' and most times did everything by himself (hooray!). He's the 'master' of the laundry and 'non-sticky' cleaned-floor . While I learn to simply close both my eyes to all the mess in the house, and open one of them when I think it has got out of hand. Some days, if I can't stand it, I chose my best ammo - the silent treatment. (It works like a charm, by the way haha).

My house no longer looks like I bought the whole of IKEA, but my husband couldn't care less. So I thought why stress myself out. As long as the children are happy, well-fed, disciplined and counselled over performing their prayers, their school work and get them helping with some house chores, and we managed to get them out of the house to their designated places everyday, and both of us to work and then safely got them back home - then we are extremely grateful, Alhamdulillah. We have a clean bed, bath, cloth, utensils and surrounded with lots of books. Just what we needed, so we're fine In Sha Allah.

On a side, but related note:

Sometimes, some friends would mentioned those daily maids that come to help you with chores to be paid by the hour.

One day I told my husband - "Hey, they paid RM8 an hour for those maids that come to clean your house, you know. Maybe you should pay me that instead (every time I do housework)."

And he asked: "How about me, then?"

I simply said: "Nope, you don't need to get paid, because you're supposed to do all of this!"

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Inner Peace from Whatsapp :-P

Last Sunday, I let Uwais played Youtube on my mobile while he was waiting for me to finish some tasks at my office. He's to accompany me to my cousin's wedding later that afternoon. Within half an hour later, he'd manage to 'jammed' my mobile. The thing about my Sony Experia, once it's jammed, I can't even do anything on it, it just hang! I can't even  'force- shut' it by expelling the battery out of it, because like the Iphone, one simply can't do that. So what I usually do is just wait until the battery exhausted itself and the phone died out. Charge it back again and I have my phone back.

My Sony, compared to when I was using Samsung branded mobiles rarely goes 'commando' on me. But of course with a Samsung you simply peel off the back of it and take out the battery, problem solved! Anyway, my Sony took beautiful pic, like the one below and I love it, and after almost a year, I kinda get the hang of not using a Samsung, unlike the rest of my family members whose attached to the brand. 

The view out of my office three-paneled window.
Subhanallah beautiful isn't it?
I will really all of miss this some day
I noticed that my Sony will always go berserk when there's just too many things on its data. My Sony is capable of holding up to 16GB data on its internal storage alone. Lately, especially after our Australian Adventure, notification keeps popping up requesting me to transfer some of the data out of its internal storage. I got almost 5k pictures as part of the data, more if not for some transfer exercises I did before we left for Australia. I also got various apps that are taking up so much space. So I decided to delete a couple of them too, including Whatsapp. haha crazy me, who'd uninstall Whatsapp right? Well, I did! I thought it'd be temporary until I cleared half of the data of the internal storage.

But the thing is, after a couple of days, I find myself liking the 'quietness' of not having to check your Whatsapp from time to time. As Sifoo from Kungfu Panda would say - I found inner peace! ;-) Actually, I have had some issues with Whatsapp for awhile now. Let me list them down:

Time Stamps

I hate the fact that it has "Time stamps" of when you were last seen alive, ... alright! I meant online :-P. In this 'online people-connecting' era, people expect you to answer them there and then when they text you, and with the 'Time Stamps' you can no longer excused yourself. Gone are the days when you can actually receive messages, ponder upon them, think about it on your own free time before you answer them. Whatsapp tracked your online 'whereabouts', they tell people you're there, and you'll be receiving messages (and expected to be answering since you're ONLINE). But why are you not replying??!! Well, maybe I don't want to - how's that? But of course, you're 'not allowed' to do that, because you're there - ONLINE! There's no other status choices, for example, offline or away. Only ONLINE or the last time you were seen online!

Automatic add of contacts including in groups

If someone in your contacts are using Whatsapp too, it automatically connects the two numbers. You have no choice. There's no suggestion, or option to connect. You'll simply get connected anyway. You lost your freedom of choosing who you wants to be in contact with. This also goes with group chats. I have a couple of groups in my Whatsapp. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea that Whatsapp could connects these people with me. But I'd prefer to be asked first before I am added into the group. Some would consider this a small matter, but wait till you get to my next point.

No way to log off or leave a group discreetly

Adding to the annoyance of point 1 and point 2, there's no way for you to switch off the application, unless you shut off the phone. How else then, can they be able to publicize when you were last seen online? So basically, Whatsapp is 'hauting' you hahaha. 

And when it comes to group chat, there's no way for you to leave the chat room discreetly via logging off for example. Your only other choice is to leave the group, and oh my, my! when you do choose that option, Whatsapp tells every members of the group - "Fadzlina has left the group". And the 'whispers' that followed that 'leaving' notification is rather upsetting for the rest of the group members. That notification somehow felt like someone has turned their backs from the group. They'll keep asking - why? why? Did they say or do something wrong?

Actually in truth that's not the case. Some discussion interest you, some don't. You'd rather not know nor participate at all in discussion that doesn't interest you. But Whatsapp doesn't give you that choice, the choice to be excused, remember you're always ONLINE. For individual contact, you may block them, but not so for groups. Imagine the 'uproar' if blocking for groups are allowed - "Fadzlina has blocked the group" hahaha... So basically you have very limited choices. You will still be receiving notification from your group chats even if you have no interest in the matter being discussed. Hence, even if you don't want to discuss them, you'll still be in the know. I find that very annoying. Many times some of the info shared sidetracked me - simply said became a cause for me to procrastinate haha... But on a serious note, it gets rather upsetting when at times what's being shared or discussed have not been properly corroborated. Anyway, on most Androids, to avoid the 'scandals' of leaving a group, the most you can do is silenced the group notifications. I did use that for a couple of groups, a couple of times. But despite being silenced/muted - Whatsapp would still show you the notification icons, in other words you'd still be notified. Kinda defeat the purpose, don't you think?  

So should I go back on Whatsapp then? As I said earlier, I kinda found 'inner peace'. Let see how long I want it to last. Probably forever? Let's see :-P

Friday, October 25, 2013

That's a wrap: Our Melbourne Chapter

It's a holiday 5 years in the making, made off my savings from the last 10 years. We almost didn't make it to the graduation ceremony which was the initial reason for the holiday because Aliyah was unwell the night before the ceremony. By early morning on the day itself she was still feverish. The night before that, I told myself, 'truthfully, even if I were to miss tomorrow's function, I was grateful I made the trip because despite the crazy Melbourne weather, we had a wonderful time!'. But we eventually pulled through, and we made it! Alhamdulillah :-)

The plan to come for the graduation was only discussed fairly very recent. I bought the flight tickets some time last August after we've finally made the decision to attend the ceremony. The timing was also right, everyone, including the children was having a short break for Eiduladha, so that means we won't be missing too many classes. 

I had initially wanted to make itinerary for the whole trip as I used to do when the children were younger. But I realised as of recent, a strict itinerary will only cause everyone added stress, especially myself - so I decided against making one. I wanted to make it as satisfying for everyone and least stressful as possible. So I made no itinerary and go with the flow of everyone, time, and in case of Melbourne, that includes the weather too. I did try to pre-plan several things, like accommodation, but nothing really sticks until a week or two before we departed. In fact, it turns out that in several occasion Allah has other plans for us.

All in all, we actually took a total of 1.2K photos in the span of 1 week. 'Commemorating' the whole week - what we called our "Australian Adventure" :-) in writing plus attaching photos would take forever. Plus I wouldn't want to bore myself reading it either haha...Let's agree that it was an eventful week and we managed to do what we basically wanted to do to wrap up our Melbourne chapter for one last time. We know that it would be some time before we can can come back to Melbourne again as a family. We had lived there for almost 4 years, and despite all the problems and challenges we faced while living there, Melbourne will remained a chapter in our lives that will continue to live on in our memories and we wanted to end it all in the most happiest tone. 

So here goes, our graduation vacation, in summary (albeit a pretty long one hehe), spent in the span of a full whole week and more, Melbourne style.

Friday, the 11th of October:

We took a morning flight via KLIA. And guess what? My supervisor, Simon was on it too. He'd just finished presenting a paper at UPM, 2 days before. Sesungguhnya mmg kami ada 'jodoh' hehe...We had a chat mid flight, and promised to meet sometime next week before the graduation ceremony.

Hmmm...which cartoon shall I watch? :-P
Upon arrival, my dearest confidante in Melbourne, Kak Basrah Arbi was waiting for us. I got to know her in the final leg of my PhD venture. All my family members have never met her before. It's fairly very difficult to describe Kak Abi and her style. She's the 'meriah' one, is all I can manage haha... But my children find her funny, and my husband finds her 'interesting' in her own way. Kak Abi is amongst some of my close friends that all 3 of my children can remember by name :-P

She then drove us to her home in Tarneit, for we were to spend the next 3 nights at her place. It was a rather chilly night for Spring. After chatting, catching up on stuff, unpacking and what not, we finally collapsed pass midnight Melbourne time.

Kak Abi's children's fav - Hantu Kak Limah :-P

Saturday, the 12th of October:

The next morning, it was the cold early morning weather that's withholding us back from rising up as early as usual. Kak Abi was worried we were jet-lagged  I rarely have jet-lag travelling away from home, only after I reached home haha... So she decided to bring us to the Laverton Market.

Here birdie2 :-P
Simba :-)
The ferrets ;-)
We left Aliyah and Uwais at home with Kak Abi's older children for they were busy being 'entertained' and entertaining some of the many pets that Kak Abi raised in her home. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect Spring weather. Excellent for strolling down the open market. It somewhat reminded us of the market in Coburg and the Sunday market at Latrobe University.

Criminals at large :-P haha..
All the colours - will be missed...
Later that evening, we were invited to a BBQ at one of Kak Abi's close friends' home near her place, Brother Walid, a Lebanese Australian. Some of the traditional dishes concocted by his wife, Sam, was to die for. Sedap giler! Who would've known we'd get to experience an Aussie BBQ, Lebanese style this one last time we're in Melbourne. Alhamdulillah. 

While waiting for the BBQ being set up


BBQ time

Post BBQ...duh...
After the BBQ we went to rent a car for Kak Abi had planned that we joined them to Ballarat Wildlife Park the next day. The weather forecast for Ballarat the next day was not really promising. But Kak abi is never the person that accepts weather forecast. Well, we just decided to go with the flow. One never knows, all is in Allah's hand, Melbourne or not.

Sunday, the 13th of October:

We left for Ballarat around 9am the next morning. In fact it was drizzling all the way to Ballarat but it soon cleared once we arrived there. We got to cover some grounds before it drizzled again on and off. 

But we still managed to wait for some of the animals demonstration at the park before we head home later that evening in gloomy weather. I got to touch a snake, koala, and wombat for the first time haha... mcm jakun :-P

Geli! haha

I actually got to pat that python, not too bad hehe..

I remembered she said this wombat weighs 35 kg.

And alas one boy who's afraid of Kangaroos ;-)

Monday, the 14th of October:

The next day, suddenly Kak Abi was suggesting we dropped by DFO (the infamous Melbourne's Direct Factory Outlet) so we could also 'introduce' the shopping centre to one her friend's, Kak Wati's guest.

So off we went to DFO, all packed, since we were also about to check in into a hotel near Victoria Market in the city. We spent some time there, bought a couple of things, saw a couple of ex-students of La Trobe, who's also graduating, but none of them graduating on the same day as myself.
Lunch with some rolls, coffee and icecream at DFO
Later, Kak Abi dropped us off the Essendon Train Station and off we went to Melbourne Central. Walked a few blocks to Therry Street to check in. The hotel was just less than 200 meters away from Victoria Market. Actually staying nearby the market was a good idea. I'd probably do that again in the future. Halal food restaurants is nearby, ALDI my favourite food store is just within a walking distance, not to mention having the luxury of exploring the market on your own sweet time :-) It was an excellent choice!

That night, we had dinner at Blok M. Our first time too. And we had 'buntut bakar'. The children had a good laugh hearing the name of the menu. It was good, actually. Saw someone I knew, but he was so busy 'entertaining', so malas nak tegur ;-)

Bontot terbakar - said my children hahaha

Tuesday, the 15th of October:

Tuesday was supposed to be Eid day. But I guess the weather was catching up with us all, Luqman was feeling feverish. So we had to get him some paracetamol and waited awhile before he cools back down. So there goes celebrating Eid in a foreign land huhu..

By 11 am, he was feeling better, so off we went to Victoria Market to do some shopping. We had our Eid lunch at Gozleme, a Turkish cafe in the market. The gozleme were excellent. Aliyah kept asking for them even after we left Melbourne.

Our Eid Lunch :-)
Cute Cafe :-)
Licin ;-)

After lunch, we were off to the Melbourne Museum via tram for Uwais had always wanted to see the 'dinosaurs' again. It was a cool breezy day and we walked through the beautiful Carlton Garden to reach the museum. There was a couple of additional sections in the museum, and I find the "Forgotten Children" displays very upsetting but yet an interesting discovery of some part of the Australian history.

Owh the look on his face made my day :-)

The Forgotten Australian exhibition... 

The Carlton Garden

We head back to the hotel later, had dinner at the food court in Melbourne Central, and dropped by ALDI to buy some tidbits. Ahhh ALDI is great for that!

The Little Library @ Melbourne Central

Wednesday, the 16th October:

Earlier in the morning, I let them all continue their sleep, for they were tired having spent a whole day walking all over the city. I slipped into ALDI, and bought almost a few hundred ringgit worth of chocolates huhu...some were orders from friends and family of course. But mostly it was ours hehe.. 

My Fav Store :-)
By today, we were supposed to check out of the hotel, in order to check in another hotel on other side of the city, near the Yarra Promenade sponsored by my ever so generous Kak Abi :-D. It was exactly by the Yarra river. We packed up everything and head out to lunch first, for check-in time at the next hotel was 2 pm. We thought of having some Malaysian food, so we walked all the way to Norsiah's Kitchen.

We passed by the Bath House almost every day during our stay

On the way we had a peep inside the Melbourne City Bath House, for we always passed outside in trams, but never had we been inside. It was a beautifully refurbished indoor swimming pool actually. 

How it looks inside :-)
After lunch, we walked back to the city through Lygon St, had some ice cream at Ill Dolce and stopped by the exquisite State Library. The rest of my family had never really seen the 'real' inside of the library aside from the lobby. We spent some time admiring the library before packing up some food from Melbourne Central. 

The La Trobe Reading Room
The Cowen's Gallery in the Library
@ Experimedia in the State Library

Aliyah's cat while @ Experimedia
We walked back to the hotel while the wind picked up speed, terasa nak terbang! We picked up our bags (more like shoving the hotel trolley down the aisle hehe), waited for a taxi and off we were for the next check in. By then, I had already made appointment to meet Simon and Kak Sham, my dearest friend in Latrobe University had invited us to dinner the next day.

The kids tgh rasmikan katil hehe...

Later that night we brought the kids to watch the fireballs show along the promenade. Tunggu for 15 minutes, show only for 5 minutes haha... great night view of Melbourne anyway :-)


Thursday, the 17th October:

Before we head to La Trobe University, we brought the children for a swim at the hotel's indoor swimming pool. It was a wet, cold, and windy day. Everyone would prefer to stay indoor by the pool instead. So we took our time, since the appointment to meet Simon was around 4.30 pm.

By 2 pm we walked to Flinders St Train Station, took the train to Reservoir, then took a shorter bus trip to the uni. On the way, we stopped by Aliyah's former school, Kingsbury Primary School. She was shy initially, but her ex-teacher Miss Pieprzyck was still at the school making her feel very welcomed. There's only some of her old friends left, many have either left the school to go to their home country like her or moved to another school. But she had enjoy the experience anyway. At least now she can moved on, knowing that some things do change and she can't continue holding on to the past.  

@ Kingsbury Primary School

Walking back from school to uni ...
School ends by 3.30 pm, so we had to leave anyway, and walked back all the way to uni. We had late lunch at Curry Spice cafe near the Agora. Because we were about to have dinner at Kak Sham's later, and the weather was terrible, we sent off Aliyah and Uwais to go home with Kak Sham first. I meet up Simon and later saw an old friend Shimah, whose ceremony was earlier that evening. Then off we were to Kak Sham's for dinner by train, before being picked up by Abg Din, Kak Sham's hubby at the train station. It was a cold night, 10 degrees in the middle of Spring! Nevertheless, we had an excellent dinner courtesy of a wonderful Chef, Abg Din. We couldn't stay long for my session tomorrow was early in the morning. We head back to the hotel via train all the way to Flinders. It was cold and wet, and Aliyah was starting to feel unwell.

Ada lauk perut di situ huhu...

Crossing the Sandridge Bridge from Flinders back to our hotel.

Friday, the 18th of October:

We woke up early, got everyone ready to go to LTU. Aliyah had been sick the whole night. She took some paracetamol in the morning, and slept all the way to uni, the 45 minutes trip, in her brother's stroller, in the train and the bus. We arrived safely by 9 am.

Sian dia :-(

Up and until I was queuing for my robe, it didn't really feel like I am attending my graduation ceremony. I don't think there were many people attending their post-graduate 
graduation ceremony riding (to get there) in public transports. So I am extremely proud to be one of them :-) Not many people can boast attending their graduation by train or bus. I actually did both haha... I had almost wanted to parade in my robe afterwards in the bus, if not for Simon ridiculing me hehe...

Actually, it's not until that morning, that I decided to just buy the robe. After one whole week, we were actually very tired, having walked all over Melbourne, and I know that, there's no way I can get everyone in a decent family photo. What more with Aliyah being unwell. So I thought I might as well got it. I can later shoved everyone to a studio back home, including my parents to have a proper family photo :-).

In the Union Hall - with Dr Jane, Dr Christian, and Dr Neyzang :-)

So off I went to attend the ceremony. I saw my old colleague in the faculty, Neyzang from Bhutan who's also graduating with me. The whole ceremony took approximately an hour and 15 minutes. Simple, short speeches, no rehearsals for the graduants, everything was impromptu, but very well managed by the ceremony's staff. But then again, there were less than 100 graduants altogether, so in a way, it was easier to manage. 

With Simon :-)
Kak Sham with Simon
During refreshment after the session, I met Simon again and then later Kak Sham, before we parted ways. We then decided to check out Barnes Way, our uni home of 4 years for one last time before we head back to the city. Then we took a bus to the city. Walked through Federation Square, before we crossed over to Flinders St Station, had some Lord of the Fries (also for the first time hehehe), and walked back to the hotel.

Barnes Way 
The ramp to our ex-unit :-)

@ Fed Square

Lord of the Flies :-)
In the evening, I head out to Melbourne Central to have dinner with my good friend Najbah and we both went back to the hotel, to wait for Kak Abi and Abg Zul who's coming over to bring over some of the stuff we left with her earlier in the week. We all chat for awhile, and only after they left we start packing for tomorrow's flight. We finished by 2 am, phewww...

One last meet before we head home :-) 
Saturday, 19th of October:

We cleared up everything by 10 am, check out by 11 am and we were off to the airport by 12 noon to catch our 3 pm flight.

So that basically wrap up the Melbourne Chapter of our lives. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Life must goes on. Actually, it has. So would I want to repeat them, my life there? Probably not. I'd prefer to extend them. Would I want to be in Melbourne forever had I had the chance? Most probably not. Even if I had the offer of a lifetime? Well, probably yes, but I don't think I want it to be forever. 

I don't know why, but while I was in Melbourne, I always longed for home. I rarely feel the same about Melbourne while I was in Malaysia. I missed some aspects of my life while I was there, but no, I rarely longed to be forever in Melbourne. Perhaps my soul is somewhat grounded here, in Malaysia. This is where I belong, despite all of its idiosyncrasies. Plus I love to eat out, and I wanted to have food that 'rhyme' with Malaysian weather. Pisang goreng on a wet, drenching day, cendol on a hot and humid day, and of course, Melbourne's weather can drive you loco and increase those wrinkles on your face sooner rather than later :-P But most importantly, I think I've been made to learn what I was meant to learn while I was there, through my PhD journey - humility and more humility. Thank you to all that have helped me learn that along the way. May Allah blessed you, In Sha Allah.