Posted by: Ibrahim | 16/05/2010

Blast from the Past

“If you pay a visit to a mental hospital, what do you usually see?” asked my teacher on an ordinary sleepy evening.

I remembered watching a Malay drama that took place in the psychiatric
hospital. “People who are making crafts!” I answered her question – acting smart.

“True. Do you have any idea why they are doing this?” I tried to answer, but he continued, “They have to keep busy with activities, in order to forget their dark and twisted pasts… which sometimes haunting them all over again.”

It’s been 8 years, but I find logic in his answer. When mylife is so eventful, I don’t even feel like missing anyone, places and things that ever existed and happened to me before. Remembering those make me feel very sad, and pathetic. As if my life is bound in the pasts. Thus, for every semester breaks, I always find myself occupied with activities.

There is just no rest for me during holidays. I don’t need them if they’re solely meant watching tv, sleeping and eating. I need to get connected with people in the present, so that I won’t be remembering people who aren’t here, right now. Thus, meeting siblings, relatives and do activities together are something I always sought after. They make me living in the present. Not to mention that they make time moves quicker, and it makes me closer to the future.

Usually, I’ll have part time jobs if it’s 2-3 months hols. Still remember working at Petronas Station, Seven Eleven and Tuition Centre, but am certain they won’t hire me due to my limited 1 month and a half hols. So, I decided to do some familial works, instead.

Since my sister and her family just moved to a new house in Sg. Buloh, I planned to clean up the house. I also wanted to surprise her with my (so-called) creative interior design.¬† However, it seemed like most important parts of the house are still innovation. So, I didn’t do much except arranging some stuff to make the house neat looking. I wish to stay longer but well, I have booked flight ticket earlier. Playing with nephews, and hanging out with them make my life so worthwhile.

Later, in Kampong, I planned to help my parents to fertilize our rubber trees. Frankly, I don’t really like doing the kampong stuff, as it will indirectly burn my skin and directly causes pimples. But I love Mom and Dad very much (what a cliche!). Dad is not feeling well lately and I worry about him so much. I want to ease his works and I want to make them both happy, although my final works are usually far from something that can be proud of! And thinking how Mom cares by providing me with hat, long sleeves, and gloves so that my skin won’t get tanned and blistered, make me more motivated to put my hand up to these works.

Besides, I also determine to learn how to cook from Mom (for the 10th times!). I keep asking her to teach me, but by the end of the lesson, I forget the whole process. Last time it was curry, and I felt asleep after finishing the whole thing. The ingredients, steps etc. are so tiresome! I don’t know how people on TV don’t look stress while cooking. But I must learn something, at least before the new semester starts. It’s a skill that I need to be equipped with in case I’ve to do my teaching in rural area.

Apart from that, I might be visiting my teachers at schools. Actually I wanted to visit my teachers long time ago, but I’m afraid of their expectations of me. They might be speaking English with me, while I’ll be like trying to digest their words, and swallowing my own words in order to properly enunciate every syllable correctly. This is like the 5th years of my TESL programme, anyways, and it’s a humiliation if I still don’t acquire communication skills yet. Well, I only missed the ‘dealing with anxiety’ part, not the whole thing, mind you.

Title and image courtesy of a novel by Ben Elton (1998).



  1. uncle lives there too. i also want to take part time jobs but same prob here…every comp wants a permanent employee -.- (last time) i always made up stories to get myself hired :p but i felt guilty doing it …so i am jobless nw lol.

    • “i always made up stories to get myself hired” (Syam, 2010) OMG. I didn’t know that we were actually partners in crime! I used exactly the same modus operandi. I told the 7Eleven manager that I actually being kicked out from the TESL course. But he was more interested in knowing my sister rather than trying to find the truth about me. Haha

      • hahaha..there was this one time i worked for a law firm. freaking crazy..i was so scared dat they found out dat i was lying. lol..but it was convincing coz i got dat job in a snap :p

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