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Sunday, July 31, 2005

A trip down memory lane..

Yesterday.. me, Yun and Jenet made our trip to Bota to attend Hawa's wedding. I had almost forgotton about the kenduri until Yun reminded me of it a few days ago.. nasib baaaaiiikkk!

We started our journey at 9.30am, I still hadn't put on my tudung when Yun and Jenet had arrived and I was dashing around like mad, trying to find my brooches, telekung and tuition books (since I still HAD classes that afternoon). Last², ngan tudung berserabut la masuk keter Yun, I had to 'repair' tudung in the car.

Now, one thing I hate about not driving is that I get all sleepy once the car starts to move. This also happened yesterday, especially since I was sitting at the back, my eyes resembled Garfield's just 10 minutes into the journey. I tried to stay awake for Yun's sake, kang ngantuk plak minah tu but by the time we hit the highway, I must have already fallen asleep.

I woke up when we entered Ipoh. Now, I've been to Ipoh a few times after USM moved to Transkerian but I've never driven through the roads that lead to our campus (or now, UTP). Maybe because, all this while, I always took the bus (or Yun was always driving if we rented a car) to go to Ipoh so I've never been quite sure on which roads to take. However, with Yun in the drivers seat AND since our destination was Hawa's home, I was once again on the roads that had been so familiar years ago.

The first familiar landmark I recognized was the gigantic peanuts on this roundabout in Menglembu. When I first saw it, I shouted in delight, much to my embaressment! Yun and Jenet just laughed at me and I managed to give a weak smile.. still malu woooo!

Then along the road, Yun pointed out all the familiar landmarks, intersections, buildings bla.. bla.. bla.. We started talking about all the places we went to during our two years here. Much to my annoyance, though I tried so hard to shut up my mounth, I found myself talking excitedly about these places again and all at once, I felt myself go back to a few years back too.

I still remember the first day I came to Tronoh. It was our registration day and my family were sending me off to the Engineering Campus of USM there. Seeing the main gate of the campus for the first time reminded me of how scared I was. As we entered, a sudden feeling of confusion filled me as THERE WERE NO CARS IN SIGHT! I mean, I know I'm forgetful but could I have possibly forgotten the exact date of the registration. It took us a while to finally arrive at the desa where cars were parked everywhere. Wow! It sure was a long way from the main gate!

When registering, I frantically tried to search for familiar faces. I was at the point of giving up when I realized Hawa was standing right beside me. Relief washed over me when I also noticed Fidah and Dayah nearby so we went upstairs for our Desa registration at Desa Lembaran. We finally got rooms, I was to room with Dayah while Hawa with Fidah then we went to start the agonizing climb up to our rooms on the 3rd floor.

The rooms were spacious (where in a few months time became spots for our 'makan²') and very comfortable, with partitions dividing the room into two individual areas for each of us. Though me and Dayah weren't THAT close in KMK, we hooked on instantly!

After taking all my baggage upstairs, we had to go listen to the briefing in the Dewan Serbaguna (DSG). That was the first time I really got to take a good look at the campus. It was kinda' nice. We had a very pleasant walk from the desa to the DSG.

At the DSG, I was looking around trying to find out who else have been placed here when I noticed my invisible friend waving at me. He was sitting with his family at the back of the hall. I felt a bit relieved seeing yet another familiar face. I also noticed Superman there.

Our orientation started after lunch and boy, did we feel all grownup! During lunch, we realized that Yun's room was just opposite mine and As's was on a different wing but still on the same floor and we stuck together like glue hahah.. I don't remember much about the orientation apart from the time I was scolded by kakak brutal. Apparantly, as she claimed, we had been told earlier not to wear black tudung but it so happened that the bunch of us (including Aida, Shiken, Jida, Un bla.. bla. bla..) were wearing this colour.

Now this kakak brutal has been shouting at all of us from day one that most of us just ignored her. But, just my luck, when she was shouting at us, I was the only one looking at her so I was the only one she screamed at. How embarassing! I mean, I thought it would be rude not to look at her when she's talking until I realized I was the only one stupid enough to think I was being polite when the truth was, she was just having fun humiliating me! What made me mad was, the announcement of no black tudung ONLY came AFTER that! And to think that I apologized ("Ingat boleh mintak maaf je ke? Baru masuk first year dah kurang ajo ngan kitorang" <-- The ayat she said to me, right in my face!)

After the campus orientation, we had another week of desa orientation (quite tiring) before the final week of school orientation (kurang skit tired but menakutkan when we had to introduce ourselves in front of all our seniors).

But then, orientation came and went, and we had finally settled down in our new life. The first week, Hawa took us out (by bus la tapi) to Ipoh and how refreshing that was. We took the oppurtunity to go to the CC (not realizing that we had internet facilities down in the lab hahah..) and went to buy things and have lunch. I still remember the name of the CC, SpyderNet (err, rasanya la) and I have a photo we took at the place we had lunch (Koay teow goreng and limau ais for me).

Not that the food in the campus was not good la. Most of us might still remember 'Pak Cik calculator'. He was one of the foodstall owners at Cafe Staff and he was always punching his huge calculator. Even if you only bought ais limau, he'd still punch that one price on his calculator before telling you how much to pay. Tapi sangat baik, he sponsored a bit for our Kayak KCP Open without any questions! Then there's the cafe at Desa Jaya with the sangat sedap Nasik Ayam. I can't recall the name of the owner but she sure was creative. In the morning, there were this variety of kuih you could get there. She made this kuih lapis, but 'modified' the traditional one with her own type which includes slices of bananas in between the 'lapis'. Though I have never been a fan of sweet kuih, I was always on the look out for her creative ones.. yummy!

For our classes, though we were in different schools (Me and Yun in Awam, Dayah in Bahan while Hawa, Fidah and As in Kimia), first years usually have most of their classes together so we mostly did our studying and hanging out together. Sometimes we'd go out shopping for things (Yun is someone who really knows how to find these places) then buy a pizza before heading back to USM and it was either my room or Hawa's room where we'd crash and sort out all the things we'd bought, while munching our food. Going out was quite a chore though, as it took a good half hour just to walk from the desa to the main gate where we'd catch the bus but I liked staying in the campus, anyway.

Then there were our schools. Me and Yun were in the civil engineering school. Though most of our classes were done in the lecture theatre, we had one class in the first semester all to ourselves. Ukur Kejuruteraan or now known as Geomatics! For most of us, it was the first time seeing a levelling meter, EDM (betul ke ni?) and Total Station and boy, was it exciting. It was here that we started to know our coursemates. I was in the same group with kak Wahid (bless her!), Irwan Beskal, Ah Khang and Shaiful. Every Thursday (ke Wednesday ntah?) we'd be all over the campus doing our 'ukur'.

The best part was during the holidays when we'd have the Khemah Kerja Ukur (KKU) where we'd basically have this practical assessment of the subject. This time, we had a new member, Gah Hon a.k.a shampoo boy. His group had be reassembled into other groups. We'd wake up early each morning and walk to school where the bus would be waiting to take us to Kg Layang² Kiri where our assessment would be held. Then we'd only go back late in the afternoon but it was exciting.. really exciting!

However, Yun really HAD to remind me about an incident that happened during KKU. We passed Kg Layang² Kiri on the way to Hawa's house so she just had to tell Jenet about it. During the report writing, Gah Hon was being so 'barky' when drawing the plan. This made all of us hide in the computer lab, trying to finish the report. It so happened that while I was trying to save the file, an error happened and would you believe it, THE WHOLE FILE VANISHED! I tried my best to pretend I wasn't upset, but when my coursemates showed concern to me, I, as expected, burst into tears! I felt as if I had disappointed my group since the file was lost IN MY HANDS!

Even Gah Hon who was at the time being a jerk (sorry Gah Hon) talked soothingly to me. I was too busy feeling upset that I didn't realize some of my friends missing from the Bilik Lukisan. Turns out, they were scanning all the pcs to find my missing file. Once, Firdaus thought he had found my file, he excitedly ran upstairs to the Bilik Lukisan to tell me he had succeeded in finding it but when we went down and I realized it wasn't my missing file, the silly me just burst back into tears, leaving Firdaus with this guilty look, though it wasn't his fault anyway!

I learnt the true meaning of helping each other here. We were supposed to submit the report in 2 hours time and would you believe it, ALL the other groups gave us their reports and asked us to copy it. I was so touched by their generosity because they were risking their own marks if the lecturers realized there were some serious copying here, but Dr Sanusi (bless his heart) told all of us,"Takpe, saya tak nampak dan takkan perasan ape awak semua buat sekarang!" One thing though, I'd always be remembered as the girl who cried during KKU haha.. serves me right, huh? Oh, another thing, could you believe that in the next semester, when I was using the pc in the lab, the first file that came out was the MISSING FILE!!

Then when we passed through this intersection during the journey, we remembered something else.

"Kat simpang ni la arwah Pau meninggal masa on the way ke hospital"

There was this intersection that lead to Ipoh, Batu Gajah and Parit. Once when we were in our first year, our friend died in an accident. Arwah Fauzul. He went to Taman Maju to settle things up with his landlord since most of us were going to be renting in our second year but though his friends wanted to stay and grab a bite, he wanted to go back to USM. The roads at that time didn't have streetlights and unfortunately, he rammed into a cow or something.

By the time his friends found him, he was already unconcious. They took him to the hospital but as Amli told us, just when the van arrived at the intersection, arwah Pau took his last breath. I still remember when I first heard the news from Gunn. Me and Dayah were studying when Gunn knocked on our door to bring the news. At first we didn't believe it, I mean, me and Dayah just saw him that afternoon when we were having our dinner, but the I heard someone wailing from outside and when I saw Alin with Yati and Sid, I guess I just knew that it was true.

A lot of people came for the solat jenazah at our masjid in USM. His family came and you could see the grief in their eyes, losing their eldest and only son. He had already finished his finals by that time and was ready to go home but as they say, Tuhan lebih sayangkan dia! AlFatihah to arwah Pau.

As we passed through UTP (which was once our beloved campus), we saw the lakes we once used for canoeing. All of us, except Fidah were members of the Cross Water Elite. Nama je cam best but we mostly did kayak activities. The most memorable one being the Canoe Expedition from Lumut, going around Pangkor and back to Lumut. It was the first time I joined such activity (though when I joined the Belum Expedition when I was in KMK, we had to make our own rafts and spent the whole next day rowing it around Belum). I mean, we were all canoeing in the wide open sea here. And though at first I was so afraid, I guess not 5 minutes into it, all of us were laughing as if we had done it all our lives.

I nearly didn't join this xpedition if not because of the fact that the seniors threatened to 'discard'(betul ke ni?) us from the group. Yours truly is one of those who finished the expedition without having to ride the TLDM boat hehe.. bangga²! We went to class the next day with burns on our faces, but smiles in our heart.. cheeewaaahh! Other than that, we mostly just canoed in the lake in our campus every afternoon.

Aside from that, I still remember, when we weren't canoeing, I'd be cycling around the campus. It was fun cycling then since the campus was quite.. what do you call it? Nice? Err.. wrong word here! I'd go from the desa to the main gate, then head off to the tiny roundabout near EE. sometimes I'd go with Un where sometimes Firdaus would join us but mostly I'd go alone since my friends weren't keen on cycling.

Then when we were in our second year, we started renting in Taman Maju. Till today I still don't understand how we could even think of renting there when not one of us had transportation but I guess, most of us were so much excited about renting outside than staying in the hostel. This time, Dayah went to stay with her schoolmates and Lin came in to take her place when she didn't get to stay in the desa.

Our house was just a single storey semi-d. Very small if you ask me but we still managed to squeeze in the 6 of us. It only had two rooms where one room was used for sleeping, and the other was for our clothes and for praying. The hall was used for our studying ang eating. Against the wall there were 6 identical study desks with 6 identical plastic green chairs. From left to right was Lin, me, As, Hawa, Fidah and Yun. People used to say it looked like sekolah tadika :-). I was a fan of Hitz at that time so since Yun liked ERA, I had to listen to my fav radio station on my walkman. Since I was always singing along with the radio@cassette (masa tu mana mampu nak dengar CD), As had to endure my singing coz Lin, a Hitz fan too at that time, also stuffed her ears with her walkman. I wasn't suprised when one day, I heard As singing to my favourite song and she 'complained' to me, "Saya pun sampai dah hafal lagu² awak, Ayu!" Hehe..

It was really much more fun, I mean, Taman Maju was more like 'Desasiswa Maju'. You'd see USM students everywhere. In the afternoons, food stalls would open in front of the taman and you can get anything you wanted here. I especially remember Wak's Lot 10, where you are guaranteed the best food! For lunch, most of us would go and have Nasik Ayam Halimah Bachik (and her restaurant is still there today!) I haven't heard anyone complaining about her food, even the nasik campur was good but my favourite (and most of the Taman maju residents too) would always be her nasik ayam.

Sometimes, we'd cook at home.. but sometimes la. Yun especially loved to try out new recipes and her nasik ayam has my thumbs up. I usually made my nasik tomato while As was famous for her nasik goreng. She could whip up anything into the nasik goreng and it was still yummy! Once I wanted to make nasik himpit and kuah kacang, I called Hawa's mother to ask for her recipe and walaaaa! We succeeded in making our very first kuah kacang.

But I'll never forget the buah Melaka incident where we had used the wrong type of flour (tepung beras instead of tepung pulut). When making the mixture, it still looked ok but we should have guessed something was wrong when the buah Melaka took quite a long time to float in the boiling water. Since all of us were fasting, we didn't taste it at first haha.. When it was time for buka puasa, we must have laughed hysterically when we realized our buah Melaka was so hard, kalau campak kat dinding, dinding boleh pecah hahah.. Ok, I'm exagerating here, but still, it was not as soft as it was supposed to be hahahah..

Whenever I was bored, I'd go to Dayah's or Seti's house. They lived just a walking distance from where we lived. Sometimes I'd go to kak Wahid's and kacau her studying. It really didn't feel much different from staying in the desa. Cik Wa and Jida lived on the same road as my invisible friend while Nida and Fila just lived around the corner. Ika, kak Maria, kak Azfa, Bob and Din all lived in the newer phase of the taman so it still felt like staying in the desa here, see! I remember one night, before our Geotech I paper, me and Seti went around Taman Maju to find someone who'd teach us about i-dont-quite-remember-the-problem! I loved it!

After Taman Maju, we passed through this Taman Farmasi where I first learnt how to drive. I still remember when Pak Cik first asked me to drive, I was soooo scared. Then I remember this embarassing moment when his son was teaching me to drive. I never liked his son who was such a show-off and always saying that USM girls like him. Once, he was asking me to learn to change the gears without looking down so I tried. I was suprised when the gear wouldn't budge and how malu I was when I realized that I wasn't holding the gearshift, but rather gripping his kneecap. Gosh, I wanted the floor to swallow me right then!

We also passed through the junction heading to Bota. This reminded me of our project Mahasiswa Turun ke Sekolah (MTS). To tell you the truth, we were sick of having to do paperworks, then waiting for approval of the projects before we could proceed to Yokies came up with this idea of doing our 'underground' motivational programme. Together with the gang, kak Maria (ni la first time depa jumpa.. dah kahwin dah pun.. anak satu hehe..), kak Azfa, Toroque, Salam, Bebe, Yun, Hawa and some other friends, we organized the project. We even had the Kursus Pemantapan Fasi where Yokies found this great mentor who gave us wonderful tips on being a fasilitator so on the day itself, we were able to give our 100%. We were so satisfied with it, we didn't realize our excitement came to the attention of the HEP. So the HEP, I'd rather say were impressed with us, BUT we were asked to legalize our movement and bring back the spark in Kelab Pra-Kaunselor Pelajar (KPKP). Knowing that what we had done was wrong, we agreed but I guess, maybe, in a way, we did help to put KPKP back on its feet!

Jenet must have been suprised to see how much me and Yun remembered about USM Tronoh or better known as USMKCP. There were so much memories during our 2-year stay here. I still remember when we used to go to Hawa's house. Hawa's mother or Mak Tok as we call her is a great cook. A REALLY great cook and she looks after us like her own cildren. Once we had a BBQ at her home and it was the best we ever tasted (perasan haha..) owing to the fact that we had GREAT company. She always gave us tips for everything from cooking to ailments. I still remember when I was suddenly having these rashes (bukan rashes, ape eh.. ulat gatal² or something) and she took out a knife and I was like, huh? She quickly used the back of the knife in these rashes and within an hour, they had disappeared, though my heart still beat so fast remembering how I felt when I first saw the knife haha..

Wowwww.. memories, memories! And gosh, what a long entry it is this time! Still, the trip to Hawa's wedding made me remember how much I loved staying in Tronoh once upon a time ago.. *sigh*

Congratulations to Hawa and Mozaid! I still have the photos taken on your first date where ALL OF US (me, Yun, Dayah, As) accompanied you guys!

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