Thursday, November 5, 2015

A long overdue update

Hello!(*cue lame joke about Adele's new song*)

 It's been a few years since I've last updated, so many things have happened in my life and I'm living a life that is very much different than the life I lead when I last updated this blog. For one, I'M LIVING IN FREAKING JAPAN! Oh yes, my dream of living in Japan came true! Although I didn't expect that I'd be studying engineering in JAPANESE(in Kobe University). As a girl, not only am I a minority in an engineering course, I'm an international student(there's only like 3 international students in my entire course). So I'm basically a minority WITHIN a minority. Hey, it's not so bad really. After a few bouts of homesickness and culture shock, I've come to love Japan, a place I now consider a second home.

 Nice, fun and loving people are everywhere in this world and I'm blessed to have found some of them in my university. Life in Japan would be so depressing without my friends. And at first, the language barrier between the other Japanese students and I was frustrating but after a few months or so, things got better. And now, there are even times when I consider my conversational Japanese to be better than my English. Although because of Kanji, I still prefer to read and write in English(despite the fact that my English has considerably worsened since high school!). The other day, I actually typed up my experiment report in English. Well, my sensei have been going on and on about how Japanese universities have to be more globalized and take a more active role internationally. As English is the so-called lingua franca of the world, I thought my sensei wouldn't mind me writing in English. Although only *after* I completed my report did I remember my manners and e-mailed my sensei and asked for permission.

 I suppose all this rants must be boring for you readers. To be honest, when I started blogging, my aim was to get popular online and get money from advertisements(HAHA) but I no longer harbour such wishes(it'd be nice to get a secondary income from blogging though). Now I consider my blog as an online diary(albeit a public one). I hope in a few years, I would re-read my blog and remember the "good old times in Japan". That's one of the charms of keeping a blog - getting to read old posts and reminisce about old memories.

 I guess that's all for now. This is just a short post just to give an update on what I'm doing now(not that anyone reads this blog really, hahah). Any comments and feedbacks are very much appreciated. Feel free to ask me questions about Japan/studying Japanese/ life in Japan/ anything! :)

Signing out,
Sabrina

For Halloween, I dressed up as a Malay lol

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ambang Asuhan Jepun

I know I haven't been updating my blog much lately, haven't been feeling particularly inspired to write anything. No wonder no one reads my blog, I'm too unpredictable when it comes to the frequency of my updates :P

So anyway, something life-changing happened over a month ago.I....... entered AAJ. What is AAJ, you might ask. AAJ stands for "Ambang Asuhan Jepun", a Pre-University Programme in University of Malaya for JPA(Malaysia's Public Service Department) students who are bound for Japan. The offer came very suddenly, I only found out that I passed the JPA interview 4 days before the registration day itself so everything(packing my bag, getting ready the relevant documents etc etc) was done in a hurry.


The registration date was on the 4th June 2012, a date that I will forever remember. Because from that day forward, the course of my life changed.. cheh, why my word so deep one I also don't know. Honestly, for the first few days, I was still unsure over whether I should stay in AAJ and do engineering in Japan(one of my favourite places in the word) or leave and go to Kolej Tuanku Jaafar(KTJ) to pursue my A-levels(and hopefully after that pursue economics in U.S.A).

There's one other thing I feel I should mention.. AAJ is an all-bumi program. For those who don't know, bumi is short for bumiputera, a term used to call Malay and the "natives" of Sarawak and Sabah.  So in short, AAJ does not allow any Chinese or Indian to enter. I shall not comment on AAJ's all-bumi policy because I wish to maintain this blog as politically neutral and I do not want to arise any controversy.

To be able to understand my story in context, must know some background details on me .. I'm from SMK. St. Teresa Kuching, a convent school in Kuching. Most of my friends are Chinese and I talk to them in English(at home, I speak Malay lah) and to be brutally honest, I'm not very religious. So when I entered AAJ, I had a CULTURE SHOCK. I wondered whether I'll be able to fit in, whether anyone would even want to befriend me and whether I could survive there. The deadline for me to make my decision(on whether to leave AAJ for KTJ) was the end of the first week. So I spent the first week thinking over the pros and cons of both AAJ and KTJ. Called a lot of my friends, asked advices from them. Cried a lot because it was such a big decision and I felt as though a heavy burden was on my shoulder. The decision I make would change my life forever so I had to think carefully.

The deadline, Friday came too fast. By then I was 80% sure I was gonna leave AAJ for KTJ, after the lecture I planned to go to the AAJ office to tell them I was leaving. But when the lecture ended, something in my heart pushed me to reconsider my decision and ask for the lecturer's opinion. So I stayed back and had a chat with Zoraida-sensei. Because of that one little action, my whole life changed. Decided to stay at AAJ instead. Zoraida-sensei was telling me about how even if I were to study engineering, I don't necessarily need to become an engineer(good examples are my teachers who studied engineering in Japan but came back and became Japanese language teachers), after my degree, she said, I could consider doing a master's in economics. In fact majoring in engineering doesn't mean every class is exclusively engineering-related, I would also be able to take economics classes. Having the technical knowledge that comes with engineering would also help broaden my mind and see problems in a different way.  To make the story short, in the end I stayed at AAJ.


It's a decision that I don't regret. Life at AAJ is actually quite fun now. Made some friends, laughed a lot, teachers are nice and my classmates are great. I would make a separate blog post on my life in AAJ, because my inspiration to write now has gone so I don't want to continue liaw :P

P.S: Sorry for any grammatical mistakes, my english has gotten worse ever since I've been here. I only use English once a week during English class and at the same time I'm learning a new language(Japanese) so please excuse any language mistakes that you see :( can also complain about grammar in the comments section so that I can learn from my mistakes hahaha.

Monday, April 23, 2012

KTJ

FINALLY. The registrar called my mom the other day and I've been accepted to do A-levels in Kolej Tuanku Jaafar (boarding school in Mantin). It's rather posh so I wonder if I'd fit in. The environment would definitely be different than what I'm used to in SMK St. Teresa. Most of my Teresian friends are going to colleges like Taylor's or HELP to do A-levels - if you're Malaysian, you'd know that these colleges (people would usually name Taylor's college lah) are notorious for their nightlife/people partying too much. But I guess that's what a normal college life entails - a tantalizing temptation to just drop your studies and just party the night away.

Fortunately(or unfortunately, depending on your perspective), there'll be no such temptation in KTJ. As it's modeled on British boarding school, the rules are pretty tight. There's a uniform, a curfew and a strict set of rules. But if I'm being really really honest with myself, I think the environment in KTJ would suit me better than the environment in colleges like Taylor's. I still don't trust myself enough. I'm a bit too carefree and irresponsible to handle proper college life. I can't cook. I can't organize myself properly. I'm not disciplined enough. And the list goes on and on.

So I think boarding school life might do me some good, mold me into someone independent and responsible. Anyway, if I do go to KTJ, I'll only be starting in August which is a good 4 MONTHS AWAY. So I guess I'll be doing my STPM(so that my brain don't get rusty from unuse) in St. Joseph first since it starts in May. Yeah, I know it'll only be 3 months of studying the STPM syllabus but I need some intellectual pursuit to fill up my time before I go to KTJ. And it's free!(Form 6 in St. Joseph) Plus STPM syllabus is somewhat similar to A-level.

P.S:

I thought I should update you guys on my SPM(big scary exam at the end of secondary school) results too since it's a rather big part of secondary school life.  So here it is..


  • Malay Language - A+
  • English Language - A+
  • Islamic Studies  - A+ (my teacher was so surprised at this! because I always get scolded in class for talking >_>)
  • History - A+
  • Mathematics - A+
  • English for Science and Technology - A+
  • Chemistry - A
  • Physics - A-
  • Additional Mathematics - A-
  • Biology - A-


People have been congratulating me on getting straight As but I'm still haunted by the A-s. I've requested for a remarking on the three subjects which I got A- for, so we'll see what happens. I'm not hoping for much, I think I deserved that A- for Additional Mathematics but I'm hoping to get an A for Physics :(

Monday, February 13, 2012

UAE's tin cans

When I travel, it's the small things that I find interesting. Did you know that in Abu Dhabi, they open their tin cans in a different way?


Yes, I find tin cans interesting. Don't judge.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ue Kara Mariko!

Congratulations AKB48 for another amazing first week sales!




AKB48's 24th single Ue Kara Mariko managed to sell 1,198,864 copies in its first week.Yeap, another one-million seller single for AKB48! With Ue Kara Mariko, AKB48 is now the FIRST female artist in Japan to achieve SIX million seller singles. Ue Kara Mariko is also their 11th #1, tying them with Morning Musume who so far has 11 #1 singles too.


The fact that a janken single managed to sell one million is amazing. For those not in the know, AKB48 has a janken single every year where the senbatsu members(members that are chosen to sing in the A-side) is determined by a Jankenpyon tournament or as we know it, a rock-and-scissor tournament.


A janken single gives a chance for the unpopular members and the trainees even to be on the A-side. And for this single, there was an absence of the front girls such as Maeda Atsuko and Oshima Yuko. So some people were worried that this single won't even reach the one million mark like the last janken single, Chance no Junban.


But those fears were proved wrong as AKB48 PWNED the singles chart like a boss this week. In fact, Ue Kara Mariko is the 5th single with the highest first week EVER in Japan.


BEST FIRST WEEK SALES IN JAPAN
1. AKB48 "Flying Get" (24/08/2011) - 1.35 million
2. AKB48 "Everyday, Kachuusha" (25/05/2011) - 1.33 million
3. AKB48 "Kaze wa Fuiteiru" (26/10/2011) - 1.30 million
4. Mr. Children "Naominaki Uta" (5/02/1996) - 1.20 million
5. AKB48 "Ue Kara Mariko" (7/12/2011) - 1.19 million


As you have noticed, the list has been pretty much dominated by AKB48. I can't wait for their next single, I'm rather curious to see if their success will continue spiraling to the top or if the cyclic nature of life would loom on them and their sales drop.


Anyway.. CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TO AKB48 FOR AN AMAZING FIRST WEEK!

P.S: I did my part too... :P


                                             *had to censor out my street address*


I wanted the Type A version but it was already sold out in HMV Japan so instead I bought the Type B version. And yeah, I only bought ONE COPY but I did contribute to AKB48 selling 1.19 million copies however minute my contribution may be :P

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blonde highlights

After weeks of indecisiveness, I finally decided to do blonde highlights! Even before my final step into the salon I was still thinking "Pink highlights or blonde highlights?".  In the end I went with the latter. Why? Well, it was only my 2nd time dying my hair, the first time I dyed it was last year.

                                                                   My hair last year

So anyway, being only the 2nd time dying my hair, I thought it'd be a little over the top to dye something unnatural like PINK. So I went with a more natural colour, like blonde. Well okay yeah, blonde isn't really a natural colour for Asians per se. But it is relatively safer than such a bright colour like pink. Although I don't know if I'll ever find such a perfect time for pink hair because right now I have no school, no job or an important interview/test coming up. So really this is a perfect time to go pink. But oh well, what's done is done and I'm quite happy with my blonde highlights anyway.


Happy face!

Yeah, from the front can't really see the blonde highlights(but can see the brown base!). The blonde highlights is sort of underneath the hair? According to my hair stylists, it's a new trend and the old way of highlighting(streaks here and there) is apparently outdated. Meh anything lah.


 Yay, can see the blonde highlights now! Right now, I hope it won't fade to a weird colour like orange. But that's wishful thinking. Hair dyes always fade with time no matter how meticulous your hair maintenance is.


Breaking Dawn Part 1


I find the romantic scenes awkward, forced and unnatural. There's just something really off about the pairing between Bella and Edward. And the thing about the movie is YOU CAN'T ESCAPE THE ROMANTIC SCENES. Seriously, almost half of the movie is about their wedding and their honeymoon! Okay lah, I don't blame the movie maker/producer/director. I blame Stephenie Meyer for the horrible horrible story.

Don't get me wrong. Twilight(the first book) was actually a nice book and I actually enjoyed reading it, it had suspense, hot guys and intrigue. It had all the makings of an entertaining novel. Granted the writing was rather fanfiction-like but the plot seemed pretty good, full of mysteries and such.

But come the second novel, oh god.. the quality just goes downhill. I find myself struggling to finish it because to be honest, it was rather boring and I remembered being annoyed at Bella because she was like "Oh, Edward!,I can't like without Edward". You know, all that whiny stuff.

Speaking of annoying Bella, there was this one scene that really irked me. It was the morning-after-consummation scene...

Edward : I'm sorry I hurt you last night(I'm paraphrasing the whole thing)
*scene shots of Bella's bruises which looks horrible*
Bella : No, don't say you're sorry!
Edward: But I really am sorry.
Bella: Don't be, that was the best night of my life

..WHAT? Bella's just gonna let Edward go off without so much of an accepted apology for hurting her? Does she have no respect for herself? Is she just gonna let Edward physically hurt her like that? WTF Bella =_=

There were so many other awkward scenes in this movie but I'm not going to list them all. I don't wanna come off as a spiteful meanie after all :)

But if you ask me, DON'T WATCH THIS! The 2nd part that's coming out tomorrow next year(wtf, i wrote tomorrow, i must be more sleepy than i thought) maybe lah, I'm curious to see how the action scenes go.