Last Sunday was all about meeting people that are dear to me. Mentari in the morning, receiving my birthday present after that then visiting my grandma and lastly meeting up with a good friend after lunch. It's days like these when you realise that people like these people make life so much more meaningful. I met up with my friend Azizi in Shah Alam after lunch at grandma's. Me and him go a long way since my KUSESS days (that would be phase 4 of my life which i have yet to write about..=p). Our initial common interest was Taekwondo as we were the driving force behind all TKD activities at KUSESS. TKD was the biggest and arguably the most active club at KUSESS. We were also one of the most cash rich clubs due to Azizi's very entrepreneuring mind. We did all sorts of fund raising activities. With the funds generated we could afford go on camping trips, training camps etc... very cool. Anyways, I went to meet up Azizi with the intent of checking out his iPad and to discuss a personal matter. Also I have not seen him for ages so it was a catch up session too. Last time we met was when his daughter was just a few weeks old. His daughter is now 4 months old!

We met up at Starbucks at plaza Masalam, i think that's what it's called. Ala...the building next to Concorde hotel. Aziz has a programing business that specialises in programming for Apple. He got a batch of iPads for one of the projects he's doing right now. The iPad was cool. It could do loads of things and the bigger screen is very welcome as compared to the tiny screen of the iPhone. ofcourse, the iPad is not as portable as the iPhone as a result. Battery life was excellent. Anybody that owns an iPhone will tell you that a battery life of more that 1 day is very good already. the iPad can go on for over 2 days with normal wifi usage. Cool. We continued to discuss about the iPad, the software available for it, mac programming, business in general, then touched on some politics, then we got in to religious topics of Islamic history, Muhamad Fatih, Saladin, the kurds in general. We hung out and chatted for almost 3 hours. I can do that with him as his breadth and depth of knowledge is impressive. I think i have the breadth but not the depth. I am the type the works on "frameworks", details to be filled in later. hehehe... I guess the other Starbuck patrons were intrigued at us two. They saw two perfectly normal looking guys talking about technology at one point, then business and then all hadith2 keluar when we were discussing religion. We didn't wear thick glasses nor looked geeky but we discussed technology in quite some depth and we talked about religion in quite some depth but didn't have long beards and funny headgear. That's why I think I like about our discussions - they're mentally and soulfully stimulating and we didn't have to look the part while doing it. =) cool.  

At Mentari earlier we were discussing careers with the kids and asked them to write a short summary of what they wanted to become, why and how do they think they could achieve it. One thing i noticed is that most of the kids did not know specifically what they wanted to do and whether that is aligned to their character and inclination. Worse of all, when posed the question of how they were going to achieve their life goal 90% answered "Belajar rajin-rajin" (work hard). I find that worrying as they are unaware of what actually needs to be done. Ok there was one girl that had thought of which university that she wanted to go to and why. She also asked me more about the legal profession which I kinda answered to the best of my knowledge based on the people i know that did law. Not all became baristers i.e. lawyers that go to court. I thought it was important for them to know that fact. And also for them to know that a degree is does not dictate what you will be in life. To me a degree provides the skills for you to use to take on the world, according to how you want to live your life. Therefore, to me academic qualification is only a prerequisite, not a "be all, end all" if you know what i mean. Other skills are more important when it comes to life. And these skills you cannot get from school. Hence I tell the kids that when trying to achieve your ambition think of the person you wanna be when you grow up and try to be that person now. For example, one of the girls wanted to become a kindergarten teacher. I told her for her one of the things she will have to do is teach small kids to read. Therefore she must have the patience and perseverance to be able to do that. maybe I'll get her to come on Saturday and help teach the slower kids how to read. It's a start. You see, the education system does not allow for doing things early. I noticed this with my little brother when they were younger. I used to talk abt things me and the "abg2s" used to talk about during our "pillow talks". I was disturbed by the answer belum belajar lagi...(they haven't taught us yet). Thats the attitude that the education system engraves in our minds. So, if it's not taught in school then you don't have to know. The notion of learning because you want to learn in not emphasised. To an extent me and Azizi agree that the educational system holds people back, esp smart people.

Anyways, I don't want to discuss the education system as I would have too much to say on that topic. Both my parents are educators and I have siblings going through both Islamic and national "secular" education branches of Malaysia.

My favuorite jeruk/asam yum yum, full of sour chemical goodness!

By the the time we wanted to leave it rained really heavily so i thought I'd better do Asar first at the Shah Alam Mosque just in case the roads were jammed and I ended up reaching home late. At the mosque there were many stalls below the main prayer hall. On the way out I got me a packet of my favourite jeruk or Asam whatever they call it. It's the black type like in the pic. I know it's full of chemicals but just love it. I wonder what fruit it is made of and what do they preserve it with?