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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Class begins tomorrow.

image It’s 9.20 a.m., Sunday, and the view from my window shows dark skies, perhaps foreshadowing the dreary gloom that begins tomorrow: Class!
I’m not looking forward to it. I’m not looking forward to the five times a week uphill trudge to the campus. I’m not looking forward to homework, and tutorial classes and practical work.
I look forward only to next weekend.
At least, from now on, the weekends will be more significant, and there’ll be something to look forward to each week, which is a break from the monotony of constant repose, I suppose.
See, there is a silver lining to every cloud (as pictured, top left corner)
I hope the classes won’t be too boring, or too difficult, and I hope that I’ll like all the lecturers, and most of all, I hope that I’ll have enough time to write, relax, have fun, and enjoy all the little pleasures which I like to consider are not only necessary, but absolutely obligatory.
Ideally, after a long day at class, I’d like to be able to come home, switch on my computer, surf the internet aimlessly for a while, discovering hundreds of interesting yet utterly trivial things, just to take my mind off the stress of studying (as if I really ever have any). Then perhaps, if I’m not too tired, I’d cook up something simple for a wholesome dinner (saving money on takeout at the same time), and have a nice warm shower before beginning any boring stuff like studying, or homework and assignments, or preparing for the next day’s practical work. Then once I’m done with all those things which are obligatory but in my opinion completely unnecessary, I would write, and hopefully that will keep me sane, and prevent me from getting trapped in the dull rotundity of a monotonous, joyless existence, which is not what a student’s life should be (that’s generally only for people stuck in what is technically termed a “job”)
All is not woe, however, as I’ve enjoyed myself quite thoroughly in these last few days of responsibility-free liberty, shopping for stuff for my room as well as for school supplies, playing host to my friends who came over from Toulouse, and also tidying up and organizing my room (which is not a chore because I enjoy it thoroughly – it’s fulfilling and satisfying to keep neat and organized).  
My friends came over from Toulouse, and I showed them around Nice. I brought them to have ice cream, and also to try some local specialities like socca and other things I can’t remember the names of because I’ve never eaten them myself.
image image  
My friends enjoying tasty ice cream and other delicacies.
And to honour my guests who came all the way from Toulouse which is a 6 hour train ride away, for the very first time in France (or really in my whole life), I cooked something other than spaghetti and instant noodles!
On Friday night, I cooked chicken biryani, with a lot of assistance from Dominic, Meor and Nelson. With all that assistance, it was no surprise that it turned out delicious even though we left out some of the ingredients. I did burn the rice a little though, because I put the heat up too high; washing the pot the next day was a real chore.
On Saturday night, back by popular demand was the chicken biryani again, this time cooked all by myself. And to no one’s surprise, it came out even better than before! Applause for me! It was so tasty, I just had to cook again the next day.
So last night, I cooked Nasi Lemak. Needless to say, it was a complete success. However, at one point, the pot caught fire and we all just stared at it in amazement for a few seconds before trying to put it out. We all knew that it wasn’t the best idea, but we quickly put the pot in the sink and turned the tap on. Instantly, the flames flew up really high. Luckily for us, there weren’t any combustible objects nearby, and the flames did die out a few seconds later.
That was really dumb, but now we’re all the wiser. It’s a good thing it happened when I wasn’t alone, because otherwise I might have panicked.
Last night, I learned two things:
Don’t use the highest heat setting when cooking rice,
and especially not when heating up oil.
Don’t try to put out a grease flame with water –
 it will just explode into even huger flames!
And this morning, after googling “kitchen safety” I learned that the safest way to put out a grease fire is to just cover the damned pot with a lid. It’s so painfully obvious now that I can’t believe the four of us, government sponsored future electrical and chemical engineers didn’t think about it. In my defence, the Nasi Lemak turned out damn awesome.
Culinary adventures and pyrotechnics aside, other interesting things that happened recently include my receiving a package from ThinkGeek! Inside it was the 7” Mimo USB monitor and the Bluetooth Retro Headset that I’d ordered a few weeks ago. Now, I have the following setup for my work and study space: 
imageLooks so busy, even with no one at the computer.

And this is a screenshot of my screen [click to embiggen]: 
Let’s see you try and fit that much useless information on your screen.
But before I could enjoy my new gadgets, I had to get over the initial shock of learning that I had to pay € 71.55 to the delivery man for the import duty fees or customs fees or something like that. French customs: what the hell?


Anthea said...

OMG I LOVE YOUR DESK SPACE. * envy * haha. What the hell 71.55 euros!? Laughed out loud at " I learned that the safest way to put out a grease fire is to just cover the damned pot with a lid" haha.

Fadhil Luqman said...

Embiggen. Now. *ENHANCE!*

We'll do the gift thing next time. Heh.

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