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Yang Safia On Friday, December 30, 2011

It took me about a month to go around into actually picking Divergent up to read. I am very disappointed with myself  at this but I must say, it could not have been a better timing. I almost lost my reading drive, seriously.  I managed to get a lot of books over the holidays but so far I haven't been loving what I read. Divergent was a quite recent purchase about a month ago so obviously it's on the end of my reading list. Thank God that I bumped it up on my schedule and it got me out of this dry spell! :D

On to the review!

Gosh. Where do I even start? I could gush about Divergent on and on but I'll put on my English major hat and analyse this beauty in one (hopefully short) blog post!

One of the reasons why I love Divergent is because of Roth's ability to create such profound sentences. I have a few of my favourites and I will list them down later. To be honest I did not get hooked by the first page but by the end of Chapter 1, I find myself continuing to read. That is always a good sign. Given my experience of encountering such bad (a very strong word) novels, it's hard to find an un-put-down-able book. Especially from a Young Adult genre.

This could be an exaggeration by me but Divergent is dystopia at its best. Roth manages to bring forth issues or thoughts that have been on my mind for quite awhile. It even support my theory that I've been developing about the world. You might think, "Aren't you being a bit dramatic? Drawing such conclusions from a children's book?" But really, it is such a good piece of work if it could draw me some conclusions. Honestly only God knows how much answers I need right now.

"You chose us," he says. "Now we have to choose you." (pg. 73)

I got goosebumps when I read this sentence. This particular line really shed light on the workings of democracy. The West has been giving other countries sh*t for not upholding democracy in their countries; making it seem that democracy is the RIGHT or humane way of governing. No one really focuses on the negative effects of democracy. If democracy is so right, why are people still unhappy? I have been thinking a lot of politics lately given the elections are coming up soon in Malaysia. So it's no surprise why this line struck home.

Roth raises a point in the consequences of democracy. We choose a leader, choose a system that we want to be in and when we do get what we want--it is the government's turn to decide whether we ARE eligible to be in that system. If we are given a right to choose, why are we still being tested? If democracy gives the people power, why are they still being oppressed? I guess it takes a dystopic society to illustrate the major consequence in choosing our governments today.

"It is a beautiful thought." (pg. 207)

Ideals. Idealisms. It is interesting how everything starts out as ideals. Ideas/beliefs become the basis of government or way of life. And yet none of us are able to carry it out perfectly. And soon enough, it becomes a thought. An idea that fails to manifest into a product becomes a thought. I guess it is in our nature, we are not perfect beings. Our flaws balance out the good in us which makes this reality. Now does that mean all that is good are just thoughts? Obviously our main character may think like that but her actions show hope. No matter how bleak the situation is, I guess Roth shows that humans are hopeful beings. We still try. Although when I read Divergent, every bit of hope in me may have been sucked out dry.

Divergent makes me philosophical. Haha!

Brash summary of my ramblings: Everything starts out good and then people f*ck up. We have problems but we still try to fix it.

"Peace is restrained; this is free." (pg. 250)

I have this theory that the world will never achieve total peace. (I remember that this thought popped in my head when I was cutting onions while making dinner. Intense thinking done in the kitchen I must say.)  A sad worldview I know. This particular line in Divergent sort of sums up this theory perfectly. I always think that once the world solves a major problem, the solution will open up to a whole new set of problems. So in a way, it is a never ending cycle. And even if total peace is achieved, sooner or later someone will create problems because that is the true nature of our existence. We are curious and hopeful beings. We destroy, create and move on.

Main Character

When I first met Tris, I had a bit of an expectation that she would be like Katniss from The Hunger Games. Not that I want her to be like Katniss but seeing that the format is somewhat the same, I imagined that she would be a bit like her. Basically I was starting to stereotype the heroines for this particular genre but it's good that Roth did not exactly work with the same mould and break off the chain. Tris is a strong character but I appreciate how Tris seems vulnerable at the same time. She has her doubts and she thinks about her surroundings. And I love how she can be such a girl sometimes!

I really find the concept of grouping the masses into groups of personality  very interesting because it emphasizes the fact that humans are complex beings. No matter how many similarities we share, we are just different. Intentional or not, Roth manages to accentuate this point very well. Basically we are all Divergents.

The Romance

I'm a sucker for forbidden romance. Even though Four and Tris's relationship is not exactly forbidden, the whole teacher-student dynamic got me excited. Too...excited.

Now if Four is just a tad bit older...than Tris. Then it would be reaaaaaally forbidden. :P

I mean seriously, how HOT is Four?


My only complaint for Roth is really superficial. I just hate her choice of names for the main characters. No offence to anyone named Beatrice but really, can't you just give her a much cooler name? Also Four's real name killed the fangirl in me...just a bit.

But then again, Beatrice and Four's real name (I'm kind. No spoilers here!) are total Abnegation names. So that must be her reasoning.

The Verdict: 5 out of 5

Yang Safia On Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fan of this book?
Check out my review!

Coming Soon

Yang Safia On Monday, December 26, 2011

I know I'm late. WM is not exactly new but it seems I'm the only person who has yet to check out the cupcakes (and more importantly, their coffee). And so last weekend (after a wedding if you read my previous post) my friends and I decided to pop in for some cuppies! We went to their Damansara branch.

Part of WM's charm is its cute vintage interior. It has a relaxing ambiance which makes it perfect for a hangout with close friends. While everything is immaculate, I cannot help but find this place a bit similar to this cafe I love back in Dunedin called Modaks. Although the decorations are more put together than Modaks. After all, I doubt Malaysians would appreciate a messy (although in my opinion, artsy) cafe!

I decided to try the rainbow coloured cupcake. Nice. 
I can just feel how it goes straight to my waist with each bite I take.

I went with my usual order. A cup of Mocha. Price wise, WM is extremely pricey. As I was ordering, an accountant (Shaza) and an actuarist (Shira) were discussing how much profit WM is making with just their cupcakes. Now, I don't understand financial talk but I heard something about a 300% profit? I might hear wrong but conclusion, very pricey.

The mocha is extremely delicious. Maybe it's the chocolate they use because you can really taste the chocolate. As for the coffee, not so much. Also the consistency is not really thick so it should be nice for some people. I particularly like this mocha. 

So that's two great Mochas in Malaysia! :D

A cup of mocha will set you back around RM4.50. Not so bad if you think about it. It can be considered luxury coffee so for this price, I guess it's not that bad.

My only complaint about WM aside from its price would be the portion. I find it a tad...small. Sometimes you will find yourself paying a ridiculous amount for something that is very little (or overly hyped) and the product will not be up to your expectation. So a heads up for interested WM customers.  Like for example, Shira ordered an Irish Cream milk and it costs her such damage that it got her complaining and the thing tasted like ordinary milk.

I tasted Sara's Iced Long Black and it's pretty good. A bit strong for me but I know many caffeine addicts who would just ENJOY it.

Datin Sara. 

Sorry, I couldn't resist. :P


Wondermilk is definitely one of the unique cafes you can find in KL. My overall judgement on the food and coffee is that it is delicious but nothing special. I guess it's more famous for its beautiful decor and chill ambiance and coupled that with our fascination with cute vintage will get a successful cafe! An extremely well thought out concept but you might find yourself going there just for the hype.
Yang Safia On Sunday, December 25, 2011
Merry Christmas everyone!

Hawa invited us four to her sister's wedding on Christmas. Shaza received her call when the four of us went on a shopping spree on the 24th. Quite an impromptu decision but it's been so long since the foursome get to  do something together so a chance for a second day of AWESOME FOURSOME is a definite HELL YEAH. 

We were a bit lost and after a car ride full of kecoh-ness, we arrived at the wedding...starving. I'll spare the details on the damage done but we were um...satisfied. :P

But it was soooo good to see Hawa after our 2 years of separateness. Haha. Thats what happens when your holidays don't meet. I can't wait to spend some quality time with her before she leaves for Japan again. 

After the wedding, the foursome find themselves at Wondermilk in Damansara. I'll let the pictures do the talking but it's been a long time since I had a laugh with these girls. Too long I'm afraid.

What happens when the camera flashes before you're ready. I love this picture! It's so US!

Got a bit sesat here and there and the girls soon sesat to my place for some rambutan.

This picture is not a 100% posey-posey ok. They do act like this at my place. No shame these girls. 

Sara with my youngest cousin, Baby Noura! They were a bit obsessed with her quite a bit.

Shaza being annoying about her facts. One thing about her is that she tends to go ON and ONNN about statistics. This time, she was trying to prove that the number of men is actually more than women in Malaysia. Thus why it shouldn't be hard for the three of us to find a boyfriend. As usual, we ignored her. It's for her own good anyway. 

It's moments like this that makes me miss Malaysia. AWESOME FOURSOME REUNITE! :D
Yang Safia On Friday, December 23, 2011
I was an inexperienced noob. I've never worked before in my whole life. Well I did help my dad loads of times with his business but working with your own dad hardly counts as a real job. So this summer I was dead set on getting myself a job. I had a plan to work with this company (I even send in a resume and even got myself an interview!) but plans had to change because I had some time issues. Given that I went to Egypt right after my flight back home, it sort of changed everything I had planned for summer. 

So what is my job exactly?

If you've read my previous posts, I did mention that I am a teacher. If you personally know me or been reading this blog, you would know that I'm an English major with a minor in TESOL. So for this job, I am an English teacher. What makes this job a whole lot special is that I taught students from poor and struggling families. The whole program runs for 4 days and it is basically like summer camp. Students will study Math and English, play and make new friends. I worked for a month so that means a program a week. This project falls under Lembaga Zakat Selangor and was organized by Fauzul Azmi, the company that hired me.  For the first two weeks, I taught 13&14 year olds while the last two I taught 16 year olds. 

 What a whole day of teaching does to you. I look so haggard! XP

How I got the job:

It was quite sudden to be honest. I was sitting across my dad, three days after we got back from Egypt and I was complaining about what to do with my time when he told me about this job. Actually he got a text from his friend who was looking for an English teacher. That friend turns out to be my boss and we had my first job interview the next day. It was sudden to the point that I didnt have time to be nervous.

Because I even had time to look for proper interview shoes an hour before the interview! I settled with a rubber bright baby blue Bata flats that clashed so horribly with my outfit! My mum actually asked whether I was serious and from the look of her face, she was worried that I'm not going to get the job...because of my shoes.

The nervousness finally hit when I was waiting for my dad's friend to arrive. I also realized that I should have followed what my mum said about the shoes...I looked so...kiddy in them. (=3=) This is my first OFFICIAL job interview after all...

Thank goodness that the interview turned out to be at a Mamak restaurant! Haha!

(I later found out that other candidates had their interview at my boss's office while I had mine at some mamak. Phew!)

What I learnt:

Teaching is hard. My first day on the job went so bad...I felt like ripping my hair off! I felt like throwing the grammar books and burn all of them. I wanted to apologize to the students for my incompetence. Basically I overestimated myself and the students. To make matters worse, I actually wanted to tell my boss to just fire me. But I didnt. Because that would be stupid. And so I went home with a fake smile and a heavy heart.

I persevere.

Day 2 and onwards went surprisingly well. I learned to adapt to different classroom situations and various questions. I also learned to use the theories I've learned throughout my studies which was helpful. But what I learned most was to appreciate what I have. These students taught me to be happy. You would think that they are unhappy given to their situation but every time I asked them how they are or simply ask them to write a short essay about their life, they never cease to convince me how happy they are with their life.

And now I'm sick of people who kept on complaining that they don't have enough stuff or money (or that they're BORED!) because that's just ungratefulness on their part. :(

The best part of becoming a teacher is when you get to see their faces change when they actually understand something. BEST FEELING EVER.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pn Nora who gave me this opportunity. Not only you gave me my first job but you gave me a chance to rediscover my original passion...English. Thank you!

Besides, beating other candidates who have a Masters degree is a HUGE ego boost. ;P