Saturday, January 28, 2012

Je suis perdu!!

It means I'm lost...

Let me tell you my misadventure of looking for La Poste office.

Ok, La Poste is the local post office here in France and I was expecting my parcels to arrive from Malaysia. I've got some important books (more french books) and papers that I needed.  Anyway, most of the time, as my friend told me, the parcels are sent directly to the residence's office by the postman and then we'll pick it up from there. I got my parcels a week and half after my sister sent to our Pos Malaysia..but, I only collected one from the residence's office. I got a ticket from La Poste to pick the other one. You must wonder how did I manage to read the ticket..10 minutes of translating word for word using a dictionary and double confirm from a nice lady at the office. 

Me : Je ne sais pas...errr...La Poste (while pointing at the adress on the ticket)
Nice lady : Aaa...oui....(speaks in french)
Me : *blink*blink*blank*
Nice lady : You speak english?
Me : Yes! merci.
Nice lady : ok, walk out of the residence..turn left and walk you know Dia?
(Dia is a small grocery store nearby)
Me : Yes!
Nice lady : ok, aaa it's just behind Dia..not so far from 'ere.
Me : Ok, thanks.

The next day, at 10.00 am on Friday (Vendredi) morning, I decided to look for the La Poste myself. 

Ok, walking in Grenoble is great because the town is flat and the weather is cold so you don't feel tired easily. But, an Iban that doesn't know how to speak french and not knowing the place, yet, the journey is going to be difficult. So, I walk up the road and found Dia and then I turn in to the parking area and walk behind the store, hoping La Poste to be behind the store. Hah...I thought and hoped wrong...All I saw was a park with kid's playground and more residential homes. On my right was a few rows of shophouses. So, I thought, maybe La Poste was in one of the shophouses. Teeeetttt..nope...I was wrong again. Sh*t..I don't know where's the %@&!*! post office. 

Then, I saw a La Poste van passed by.  So, I followed....but actually, the van was delivering parcels. Takkan la I follow the van until he finishes his round? Then I saw a postwoman on a bicycle. 

Me : Pardon, excuse-moi, madame!
Postwoman : *looked annoyed* Oui? (maybe I should've called her mademoiselle,instead of madame)
Me :Où errr.... La Poste? (while pointing at the address on the ticket)
Postwoman : Aaaa.....(speaks french)....à gauche...(speaks french)....dernier...(speaks french)..à gauche....La Poste.
Me : errr....à gauche... dernier...
Postwoman : Oui, (speaks french)
Me : D'accord, merci...*blank face*

Ok, the keywords I caught from her was left, behind and then left...greaaat...

So, I walked straight passed the shophouses (can't turn left) and the park (can't be at the park) and passed some flats. Then, I saw a lady walking her big dog and decided to ask her for directions. 

Me : Excuse-moi, mademoiselle?
Lady with dog : Oui! (looked happy this time)

I repeated the same sentences I used before. Note that I don't have enough vocabs. So, the lady told me to walk straight, and turn right (droit) and if I see a construction site, I should walk again..actually, I couldn't catch what she said la..but it was something like that. Anyway, I said merci and bid good day (bonne journée) and continued my adventure. Ok, I turned right then....I saw two construction sites. One on my left, and another one across the I just walked straight til I reached the end of the junction. So one construction on my left and one in front...hmmm...should I cross the road, or should I stay on this side and walk up?

Then, suddenly the same lady appeared the other end of the junction to my right and she saw me and I just smiled. I walked up to her and said, "Je suis perdu..." She just laughed and pointed construction site across the road and said something in french and La Poste. I thanked her again and crossed the street.

As I walked pass the site, I saw a pharmacie to my left. This was the pharmacie which the postwoman explained earlier..sigh... front of me...a small sign said, La Poste!!!Oh, I was so happy to find La Poste!!! I wanted to just run and open the door and hug the La Poste man!! wanted...ok..wanted..

Alright, so, I showed the guy at the counter the ticket and he just said, ahh..and picked my box behind the counter and said voila! I signed, said merci and off I walked happily back home with my box.

Oh, what an adventure... I told my adventure to a few of my malaysian friends here and they told me to always bring a pen and paper and tell them to draw for me if I don't understand. *very important note, Sarah*

Ok, à bientot! I end my entry with the stamps my sister had to buy.hehehe...

X-ray of Malaysia stamps

au revoir!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fuh..fuh....dusting off my blog

Hey it's 2012!'s been a while (very long while) since I laid my hands on you, Mr blog. I guess, I'm now bored and living alone abroad. Did I say abroad? yeah... gonna do my last stage of degree, PhD my man!

Alright, enough of that. It's exactly 11 days in Grenoble, France. So far, I'm confused over many things. Blame it on not understanding the language. I regretted not paying attention and skipping Rudolph's classes last year. Some of the phrases that I am familiar are only Je ne sais pas and Désole, je ne comprend pas français..oh and je ne parle français...not forgetting, oui and non. I just found out that ouverture means opening (very important to know this especially if you want to know the opening hours of shops) and acheter means buy. I can't wait to go for a french class next month. Why next month? Read on..

First, I've learnt that I need to complete my charte de thése which means thesis charter. That took me about three days to complete as I had to do other things: first, get a mac adress so that I can access the internet from the lab/office. Then, I had to get an access card from the technician after I have the permission from another lady in the école doctorale of engineering, then presented (not introduced) myself or présente moi to another lady in école doctorale of mathematics to show her my certificates....oh, the procedures and the confusion... hanya Tuhan jak tauk.

Then, once I have settled in my shared office, then I started to do my charte de thése...discussed with my supervisor, he seems to have some ambitious ideas, I don't know whether I can do them, but he seems to be optimistic and has shown me where I can get help and gave me books to start reading. There are still other things that bother me especially about my data. I'm praying really hard that I can get that data. *crossfingers*

Ok, after I have finished my charte de thése ( I have to get used with this term), my supervisor presented (hehe) me to another lady, very nice one, she was the first one who greeted me with bienvenue en France which means welcome to France. Right...moving along.. her job is to get the signature from the head of the lab, and then, pass to me the charter and then pass to the lady in école doctorale of mathematics to get signature from the school...then....I can be registered as an official Phd student. Which, I hope will happen next week! oh many procedures. This hasn't include my application for  health insurance, social security and responsibility (can you believe that!) insurance. My aim now is to get my carte d'étudiant or student card. Once I have that, then I can apply for CAF. It's a help for students who study in France but I'm not sure how much CAF will help me.

The OFII office which is the immigration office has not contacted me to go for an interview yet. That's another thing to worry. Apparently, they will interview in french and if I passed, then I will get my carte de séjour or residency permit card...see.....there's so many things to do..gosh, they just love paperwork. *bangs head on the wall*

Some said they managed to get all things done in 3 months and some said 6 months! I'm counting my days now til I get all things done. Sigh, I must be crazy to study here. Never a day that I did not ask myself, why in the world do you want to study in a country that you don't know the language. Oh well, I guess learning won't be fun if everything's the same thing...I haven't told you about recharging my prepaid for my mobile, yet. Oh, I'll take ages writing about it here. Just have to say I owe my officemates a lot..I can't understand what the operator said on the phone.

To end this entry, I have this cool picture (yerrdehhh) of my french for dummies books and cd box. Two of  are gifts from my sisters (gosh I miss my family :(   ) and one which I bought for myself. I've started with the cds, now moving forward to the not-so-thick book. Once I've mastered the not-so-thick book (oh, when is that going to happen...when?quand?), then I'll move to the thick book. huhu...I need to go to class...I want my carte d'étudiant..

p/s: you may find spelling mistakes, je suis désole. saya budak baru belajar. :D

Au revoir et à la prochaine...ciao.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stop trying to have everything go your way. That's not how life works.

There are so many things in life (almost 29 years of my life) in which I thought I could control. I determine my own future, I determine my hopes and I determine my dreams. But, after analyzing my past....

When I was 7 years old, my ambition was to be an architect (even I didn't even know what is an architect..the word sounds bombastic at that time when my teacher asked me what i wanted to be when I grow up)

When I was 15 years old, I changed my ambition to become a doctor. Well, I got a 7 for my Biology in SPM. I dare not pursue.,..I can't even differentiate kodok and katak.... so I changed to engineer..WOW...

When I was 19 years old, my grades were not good to enter engineering, so I got Science instead and took up Computational Mathematics. I have no idea what was going on that time. I seriously don't know what I would work as after I graduate. Seriously...I was devastated.

But, I took the courses, failed a few courses, got up again, and then...graduated with an OK-lah result. Now, I still don't know what job to apply. Uh-huh...yep...doomed..

I wanted to become an engineer, but, I can't as I'm not, I thought, hmm..maybe I should work around engineers..haaaaaaaa...apply Shell...haa...a lot of engineers...Teeettttt...failed the final stage interview.hahaha..oh well..takda nasib. Two weeks later, I got an interview in my current workplace. Then, what...wait lah...almost three months of waiting, so, I thought...hmm..takda nasib..might as well tanam anggur and lemak. Then...just 1 day before the end of the third month of waiting (coz they say, if you wait for three months, and no answer from the them, considered as bubbye), I got a call from them and told me to report duty. Wahhhh... I just got my DL, and so...I drove (60km/h - 70km/h) in my rented Kancil, I called it rented because the car was still under my sis's name, to my workplace on the day I reported for duty.

So, here I am...5 years working in the same organization. Accepted that I can't be what I wanted to be (architect, doctor, engineer) and I actually can't really control my future,hopes and dreams. I just work through what I think is best for me.

And especially, one thing I learn....just let go and let God. Let Him decide what is best for me. I'm not planning to just sit down and do nothing. I just have to do the best that I can do for myself and satisfy my own needs and let God guide me. About love?well...I wanted to marry Brad Pitt, don't know if I still have the chance or not to propose to him. As I said, I will let go of my upmost worries and let God. Who knows?Anything is possible.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gam Hutan's quote

Something to ponder...

"Life is like a durian...all thorny but smells great. Once cracked open with all the pain left on the fingers, if you're lucky, you'll get good biji...if not, you'll get bad biji..when you get bad biji, you just have to get rid of the durian and move on to the next durian to try you're luck again."

Yesterday morning, I woke up and thought about Forrest Gump's quote in the self-titled movie. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you'll never know what you're gonna get". I bet you will say, yes, the quote is true. But, for today's chocolate boxes, there are labels to say what flavour they are, what colour (dark, white, green?), what kind of nuts and EVEN there is an expiry date behind the box. So, basically, you know what you're gonna get from a box of chocolates.

But buy the fruit from a durian stall, you have to ask the seller, which one is good. 

Seller : Ini bagutt..ini ..ini...semua lah bagut..baru simalam amik dari kebun punya.. (while scratching his naked back with a machete (parang). 
Buyer : betul ka?
Seller : Betul...amik ini...ada bau kuat punya..neh..saya sudah buka satu ini..(using the machete which he used to scratch his back)
Buyer : Oklah..saya angkat ini satu (pointing randomly at one of the durians, still unsure)

So, possibility of getting a delicious and yummy durian is still unknown. Until, you open it up. The process of opening it up includes, using a machete a.k.a parang and a cloth to hold the fruit to avoid cuts on your fingers.if no cloth nearby, nasib, it's like the beginning of life, you struggle to do things that you would think would be beneficial to your life, family, love, and many things. You use methods and techniques that you think will help you to get to the life that you wanted.

When the technique is right, you'll succeed in opening up the durian., you'll see whether the biji-biji you get are all in good condition or not. It all depends on your luck. If you're lucky, you'll get the whole thing good and yummy to be enjoyed. If you're partially lucky, which means either the fruits are not so tasty, one way to improve the taste is to make tempoyak or, the best way out is...throw away the fruit. If you're not lucky, you'll get the whole thing bad as in with the worms and all. Not safe to eat...throw it away. Get a new durian.

It's like life..if you're lucky, you get what you want and be happy. If you're partially lucky, you need to improve the life that you have by adding new spices to get the right 'taste' in life and happy. And, if you're unlucky, you just have to throw the life that you have now and start fresh. Let go of the life that is not gonna work no matter what spice you put in or whatever ways you want to improve it, it won't make any difference.

I stand with this quote about durian as representing life. I call it the new quote by Gam Hutan. Maybe I should  ask some local movie writer to use this quote in his/her movie. hehehe..

Jian kenin.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus

I was suggested by someone to read the Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus by John Gray. I googled on this book and I was laughing my head off when I read some notes of the book. See if you are ...

The point system

Gray suggests that men and women count (or score) the giving and receiving of love differently. Men tend to give larger blocks of points (20, 30, 40 points etc.) for what they think are Big Acts, while women give each act of love one point at a time. According to Gray, women tend to keep a Points System that few men are aware of. Men and women each monitor the amount of give and take in a relationship and if the balance becomes off and one person feels they have given more than they have been given to, resentment flu develops. This is a time when communication is very important to help bring the relationship back into balance.
Example: A man might count a $200 present as 20 points and helping her to carry a heavy bag as 1 point (or he may not even assign any point to the latter), but a woman may count these acts as only 1 point each.
For her, the total sum of points comes from different aspects. For example: - the different parts of the environment where the present is given each get 1 point (candles, music, privacy, location etc.) - the card gets 1 point, - flowers get 1 point, - if he tells her "I love you" in the morning it is 1 point, - if he sincerely takes a moment to notice her and tells her "You look beautiful" in the evening it is 1 point, - if he hugs her, it is 1 point, - the gift itself gets 1 point.
Men and women are often surprised to find the scoring method is different. Most men are not even aware that all women "keep score".
The emotional stroke delivered by the sincere attention is as important as the value of the item. This can lead to conflict when a man thinks his work has earned 20 points and deserves appropriate recognition while the female has only given him 1 point and recognizes him accordingly. Men tend to think they can do one Big Thing for her (scoring 50 points) and not do anything else. They assume the woman will be satisfied with it.
To the woman, she would rather have many many Little Acts on a regular basis. The reason is that women like to think their man is thinking of them and cares for them on a regular basis.

Comments: I didn't even realize this. Actually, it's quite true for my case. I am like that. It's in my nature and it's in the nature for men to be like what is being explained up here.

The cave and the wave

Another major point of Gray's books are the differences in the way they react under stress. He believes that many men withdraw until they find a solution to the problem. He refers to this as "retreating into their cave." In some cases they may literally retreat, for example, to the garage or spend time with friends. The point of retreating is to take time to determine a solution. What is known is that men in their caves are not necessarily focused on the problem at hand, many times this is a "time-out" of sorts to allow them to distance themselves from the problems so their brains can focus on something else. Gray posits that this allows them to revisit the problem later with a fresh perspective.
Gray holds that this retreat into the cave has historically been hard for women to understand because when they are stressed their natural reaction is to talk about issues (even if talking does not solve the problem). This leads to a natural dynamic of the man retreating as the woman tries to grow closer. According to Gray this becomes a major source of conflict between any man and woman.
The "wave" is a term Gray uses to describe a natural cycle for women that is centered around their abilities to give to other people. He claims that when they feel full of love and energy to give to others their wave is in a stable place. As they give to others (and don't receive the same amount of love and attention given to them in return) their wave begins to grow until it eventually crashes. This is a time when a woman needs the love, listening, understanding and reassurance of those around her (including self love). Gray holds that once she is rejuvenated (by getting the support she needs) she is able to rise like a wave and once again has love and energy to give. Men must support this natural cycle by not being threatened by it or telling her why she should not feel this way.
Men can simply listen to her, constantly reassure her of his love/commitment/monogamy or take a few chores off her back (just a few simple chores will do). Most men get threatened because they think, "Why can't she be happy?" or think she is blaming him, but that is not the case.

Comments: I didn't know that there is a cave. No wonder lah... I am acting like the woman being described here. I thought I was abnormal. It has already been written by Mr. John! 

There's a lot more on the book. This one I extracted from Wikipedia. There are various reviews/critics about his book. Some said that the solutions that were suggested by this guy actually turning the guys to be a whimp.hahahahaha...But, some made good comments such as women (like me) should not be so worried if men cannot give full attention. And men should be able to compromise with women / give and take. I personally like the point system. I was laughing and thought about it..hmmm...everything about the grading is true. Nothing can please a woman enough. 
For example : A guy would think buying plastic flowers is enough because it's show everlasting love...Women...what do you think?....Exactly...(what???plastic flowers aa...why kenot buy fresh flowers?when it rots to death, can buy again mah) 
See...cheering myself up,here :) Adios amigos.