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Yang Safia On Monday, February 27, 2012
It's the first day of class here at Otago University! It was really sunny today and what an amazing weather to kick start our semester! Expect an influx of Dunedin-related posts coming your way...I'm already feeling nostalgic! I was surprise that it was Market Day today. Alia and I are thinking of opening a stall ourselves so that we could sell our stuff. Maybe the next Market Day. :)

I'll let the pictures do the talking this time. Note that all pictures were taken with my camera phone and none of these pictures are photoshopped! Yes, I must admit. New Zealand is THAT beautiful.

On a different note, I'll just update you guys on the subjects I'm taking this semester. I dropped my Philosophy paper due to personal reasons also that I want to focus on my 300-level English papers. These two papers are quite heavy and I'm just happy I could spend more time with these two. After all I need to watch my grades if I'm going to apply for a Masters programme. So yeah, I spent my first day running around Dunedin looking for these books. It was hard because the lecturer needed really specific editions and translations for the books. The picture below is only a portion of novels I have to read for this semester. I'm going to continue my search tomorrow. That dog-eared book in the picture is actually my booklist. I was just sorting out my things when I took this picture.

My papers are Renaissance Literature and Victorian Literature. The nerd in me is just... REELING WITH EXCITEMENT! I even got shivers when the course refer to us as SENIOR UNDERGRADUATES! I'm so excited!

I don't want to jinx it but I feel this is going to be an awesome semester!

Books I'm currently reading in class: Thomas More's Utopia and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. 

Yang Safia On Sunday, February 26, 2012
O-Week stands for Orientation Week here at Otago University. This usually means crazy parties for the new and returning students. Often you will see a huge influx of parents in town as they helped their children settle down. By night, it will be crazy initiations and parties for them party heads. I've survived through two O-weeks and what they usually consist of are grocery shopping, catch-ups, errands, course approval and sleep. Seeing that this year will be my last O-week, I tried joining in with the Uni festivities.


Arrived in Dunedin around lunch time. Showered and straight away went lunch with Alia, Zaini and Eric at Taj Mahal. Went back home to clean my room and took a nap. Woke up to Adeline's call, inviting me for dinner. Went dinner with Alia and Adeline. Later met up with Zaini so that all of us could help Alia move into her new place. Went to Alia's homestay parents's house to load her stuff into the car. SO.MANY.THINGS! Stayed at her place until 9PM-ish when all of us decided to do a little bit of grocery shopping. Went to Countdown and only to realize that Alia has locked herself out of her new place. Alia ended up sleeping at my place for the night. That night skyped with Jie Ning.


Woke up super early to do course approval. Arrived there at about 8.30AM. Despite what Alia said I managed to get everything done in half an hour. I was extremely pleased with how my ID turned out this time. Went to the library to surf the net while waiting to meet up with Zaini to buy our Shihad tickets. This year we decided to attend one of the Uni's O-week events. The theme this year is called Orientadium because our Uni has a new stadium opened so all events are going to be there. We chose Shihad because it's the only event that seemed less wild for us. Got the tickets and went to town to do some errands. Went to the bank but gave up halfway as the line at the bank was too long. Zaini and I were both hungry so we had brunch at the food court. We parted ways for about an hour and later met up at The Link. Visited all the booths set up for O-week where they gave out freebies. Later Alia picked us up and went to hang at her place. I watched as Zaini acted as her interior decorator while I just laze around. Suffering from backpain to be honest. Then Zaini suggested we should all have dinner at Alia's place and I watched them cook. Ate dinner and left.

Woke up early yet again to sell my books. Later I went to this University Bookshop (possibly my current favourite bookshop ever!) to place an order on these two babies:

After that I met up with Alia and Adeline at the OMSA booth for Clubs Day. Then we went to K-mart to buy some necessities. Alia bought a lamp for her place which the two of us (me and Adeline) fought against her for she already has a LOT of stuff. Then we realized we talk kinda loud...I guess that happens when you have Secret Club away for 3 months. We later moved on to have a drink at Angus Cafe. For dinner we met up with Eric, Shaz and Yusof. It was a surprise farewell dinner and Intro to Shaz's new BF kinda thing so that was fun.


Pretty chillax day. Spent my whole day doing laundry. Later that night around 9PM, I met up with Hafiz, Alia, Adeline and Sze Ying at Robert Burns Bar for Jazz Night. I've never been there before but I heard the coffee there is good. It's fun to see really really old people play jazz and dance like they were in their 20s. Too cute!

Another chillax day. That night however we went to see Shihad. Had no idea what Shihad is. I just know it's like a concert. It wasn't full at the start. 

Disclaimer: These beautiful pictures are taken by Zaini because he owns a fancy camera. 

Knives at Noon - The band's name as I later found out.

It was getting a bit too crowded by the time this guy (his guitar skillz is epic tho) came out and the girls and I really did not enjoy the music. Just not my genre I guess. There were three bands set to perform that night and I'm guessing Shihad is the final act. By the time the second band rolled out, I left already so...there's my attempt at joining Uni events. Haha.


I decided to dedicate this day as ME day. I went to town and had lunch by myself when I bumped into Calvin and he joined me for lunch. After saying goodbye, I took a nice stroll on George Street and went to Rialto to catch the movie "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Good movie but MAD creepy.

After the movie, I went to Eric's surprise birthday party at his place. A LOT OF PEOPLE!! Pretty much all the Malaysians were there! :)


Had a really nice sleep and treated myself to wake up a bit late. Woke up and went to New World for grocery shopping. Arrived home around Zohor and cooked lunch. Did a bit of housework and laundry and actually studied a bit...for the whole day pretty much. That night went to Jitsu for Adeline's farewell dinner with Sze Ying and Alia. Adeline got a job in Perth so she's moving there for good. That's the funny thing about Qada' and Qadar. You can plan all you want but at the end of the day, it's God's willing to set the best path for you. In the case of Adeline, she's been working hard to find a job overseas and she was about to give up when the job offer came along. The best job offer out of the lot pulak tu! It's good to be a witness to Allah's miracles. :)  All the best Adeline!!!

At Nova for desserts

So this pretty much sums up my O-week. Pretty eventful I must say especially for a non-social like me. Time to hit those books. Wish me luck! 
Yang Safia On Saturday, February 25, 2012
I love to travel and see new places. But the thing I can't stand most is flying. And airports. I just hate going to airports because it will always mean saying goodbye to someone you love. It's interesting how by just saying goodbye, it triggers many thoughts..thoughts that make you realize many things. Especially things that are most important.

I remember sitting on the bag trolley next to my mum as I wait for the gate to open. Actually it was already open but I wanted to prolong the time I have left with my parents. After all it will be another year gone by the time I'll see them.

A lot of things can happen in a year. I kept on thinking.

I watched the wheels rolled as people pushed their trolleys towards the departure gate. And I said to my mum, "You know...people always make it seem how glamorous studying overseas is but it's actually not. It's very hard. It's never easy." She just nodded.

I looked over at my dad, standing nearby with my backpack over his shoulder. That easy smile and relaxed posture. But you can clearly see the sadness in his eyes. He saw me and smiled wider. Asked whether I have all the stuff I need.

I might be going back to NZ for the last time but even if I've lived there for ten years, leaving my family will always be hard. Suddenly the prospects of travelling and seeing my friends don't look so fun anymore. I rather stay at home with my family. Goodbye is a funny creature.

But will I ever avoid goodbyes? No. I believe no one should. I'll look at it this way. If a goodbye is what it takes for you to realize what's important in life then everyone should study/live overseas if they get the chance. It is difficult but it will certainly plant your feet firmly on the ground. I admit that studying overseas have made me become a better person...a better daughter (I'd like to believe). I think of my family a lot more often and I certainly have gained a better appreciation for my parents and siblings. For instance I used to think that getting out of the house as much as I could would make me happier but being overseas, you get to do that ALL the time. I can go out whenever I can with not a worry in the world. But sometimes I miss having people wait for me at home.

With goodbyes, I've gained a new perspective on loving my family...especially my parents. When I'm back home, I realize that everytime I go out I think a lot more on what my parents would think. Would they be worried? Do they know where I am? Sometimes I find myself rushing back home just so I could ease my parents' worries. This might sound too good to be true but I really do care what my parents think about me. I might not show it half the time but their thoughts are the most important. My logic is this; as long as my parents find my actions/decisions acceptable, the world has no right to question me. This is the truth to my belief.

Pictures below are of the time I spent a night at Christchurch Airport

John Green kept me company for the night. Let's just say I cried lots. Review of this book should be up soon...when I get my life truly sorted. :)

Yang Safia On Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Ok. I was really surprised when my friend told me that the Otago University Magazine wrote an article on me. My first reaction was, "OMG Critic (Otago's Student Magazine) wrote an article on me?!"

And she was like, "No. Otago University Magazine!"

And I was like, "Whaa..what magazine is that?"

Well apparently it's the posher kind la. The one that no one reads...except old alumni of the Otago Uni. :P

So yeah...amazing day today. I found out that my name is in print so that's awesomesauce. The article is about how I received this award from the University last year which I did but I didn't bother to tell people la. I mean, chill bro. D: But nowwww...this is something to brag about la. I'M IN PRINT!

Here's the article. I've got the PDF version of the magazine which if you're interested to see the article in full colour...go here. Go to page 45. If it's a hassle, here's the copied version from the magazine:

The University of Otago
Foundation for Malaysia
The University of Otago Foundation
for Malaysia continues to work to support
alumni in Malaysia, as well as Malaysian
students currently enrolled at Otago.
At the 2011 AGM held in Ipoh
in June, foundation members voted
unanimously to continue funding for
the student award set up in 2009. This
year’s recipient is second-year student
Yang Safia Binti Mior Azli who is
majoring in English and TESOL. She
has made an outstanding contribution
to the Malaysian student community
as a member of the Malaysian Students’
Association. The University of Otago is
very grateful for the generous donation
from the foundation that makes this prize possible.

And so, in order to undercut this "bragging" post. I'll end it with this.

Yang Safia On Saturday, February 18, 2012
Once there is a family of six that consists of a Master, a Madam and their 4 children: Lady 1, Lady 2, Lady 3 and Young Master. They are a private family. They value their privacy and rarely accept outsiders into their circle for they love each other very much. However when Lady 1 turned 12, she received a kitten as a present. Unbeknownst to her, the kitten would soon grow up as a cat dragon.

Now what is this family of six going to do with this kitten? The Master has a fear of cats, Madam was dreading the future responsibility that would soon fall on her and the children were over the moon. And thus, the great life of Cat Dragon began...

What exactly is this Cat Dragon?

The Cat Dragon is one of a kind. In fact it can be said there is only one in this world. The cat dragon is extremely smart and full of badassery. Don't be fooled by his (yes, it's a HE.) cute and innocent looks for this cat dragon will take you down with its razor sharp claws (all hidden under those fluffy paws). He likes to play rough and will only be nice if he wants something or he's hungry. The Cat Dragon became cat dragon because of his confused upbringing. Living with six humans (who never owned a cat before) certainly damages a cat's natural instincts. The Cat Dragon is confused whether he is a cat or human. (Thus explains why Cat Dragon sometimes display human characteristics. This will be discussed later.) This confusion soon leads to Cat Dragon evil plan to overthrow Master and become the leader of this family...

Due to his evilness, Cat Dragon unleashes his inner dragon when things just doesn't go his way...or maybe because he has to take a bath. Also Cat Dragon looks like a dragon when his green eyes turned into slits.

Meet His Regal-ness Cat Dragon

Cat Dragon goes by many names. Surprisingly he accepts all names and responds to each one of them. This decision is obvious since he is power crazy. In order to tame these mere humans, one must agree to whatever shiz they throw at you. 

"Only time will tell when I will overpower you...maybe after this back rub by Lady 3", his inner dragon purred. 

Cat Dragon's official name is Ginger Dorantes. Why Dorantes you ask? Lady 1 went through a telenovela phase so that's why.

Other names of Cat Dragon:

a) Gingi
b) Gengar
c) GD
d) G-dragon (The ladies of the house are big fans of the rapper. This nickname seems appropriate for the Cat Dragon).
e) Shishio
f) Baby
g) Boss
h) Bibi

Author's Note: From here on forth, the author will address Cat Dragon with the variety of his notorious names.

Throughout the time living with Ginger, the members of the family have expressed their personal thoughts on him. These thoughts are summarized through the observer's speech and actions.


Lady 2: Fat.

Lady 3: Comeyyyy~ (Cutie) Badass (In this situation, pronounced as /ba-dass/).

Young Master: Like a BOSS!

Madam: Pemalas./ Menghabiskan periuk nasi aku je. (Lazy ass./ You're a waste of money.)

Master: Get him away from meeee!/ Somebody take care of Ginger!!

In my humble opinion, Madam's opinion is by far most accurate. Seeing that most pictures show Ginger sleeping. Trying to take over the house is tough business. When the going gets tough, might as well just sleep. Which he did, 23 hours a day. The remaining hour is divided for sleeping, eating and spreading influence.

With his clever diabolical ways, his cute lazy poses soon win the hearts of the 6 humans. And so, he became the 7th member of the family.

I haz awesome mimicry skillz

   I love to sleep

MOAAAR sleep!


Take me with you to New Zealand! Haha I kid, human. Leave and I shall take over your room!

(Excuse the shift of narration at this point)

The video below was taken when I sent GD for boarding before I leave for New Zealand for the first time.
My baby... :)

Ginger is a very special cat. I'm willing to bet all of my money on his talents. Ginger's speciality lies in his unique personality and the human skills he picked up from the family. Seeing that GD had never lived with any of his kind, he is kinda weird. Sometimes he shows certain human-like skills. For instance in the picture below, GD sits on his butt.

He also sleeps like a human. He loves the aircond and you will find him sleeping on Lady 3's bed with his head on the pillow and have the rest of his body covered with the comforter. He whines if somebody turned off the AC. :)

By some of his description, Gingi is very cunning. He doesn't follow what people say nor he will "layan" you like any other cats would. He is definitely not your average house cat. He will only "manja" to you if he wants something. He's hungry and you will see rubbing against your legs, basically wrapping himself around you or lick you or gives the softest and cutest meow. Also he acts most human in the middle of the night where if you talk to him, he'll respond. It's weird...but even the Madam admits that she talks to GD when it's just the two of them at home.

As he gets older, I noticed that Ginger is getting more fluent with human language. You can ask whether he wants to drink or eat and he'll respond to you. He knows what you're about to do and will follow you if you're about to give him what you want. He knows if you're angry or sad. If you're angry, he'll get angrier than you. If you're sad, he'll get sadder than you. What about if you're happy? Well, he gets annoyed. He doesn't like it if you laugh too loud. You're just disturbing his beauty sleep. Haha

That's Ginger for you.

Now what happens if GD is content? He will flat out ignore you. Seems harsh but that's what it is. He is the epitome of a playa, he plays with you to get what he wants and after all of that, he stomps all over your broken heart. And leaves a couple of scratches while he's at it. Haha.

Many people told us that we have the worst-behaved cat (Trust us, GD is banned from a couple of pet shops and vets due to his tantrums. Thus putting him for board can be difficult) ever. But they don't understand the significance of Ginger. You can never find a more unique cat than this. Yes he might not be eligible to enter cat competitions (due to his personality) but he showed the family to be true to yourself. So what if you're spoiled or cunning or evil, the big question is whether you're happy. And I can proudly say that Ginger is the happiest cat that ever lived. :D

  I sit like them humans coz I can!

Watchu lookin' at foo?!

Honestly, get the camera off my face!


Know what? You're boring...

 ...might as well I go sleep! 

The humans love to step on my tummy...despite how cruel it might seem, I REALLY DO LOVE IT! It's like they're rubbing my tummy~

Superman! One of Ginger's favourite sleeping positions.

Tired lar. Go away.

Trololololol~ Cleaning myself...HOYEAH!



These pictures below are taken by the Master of the house. He took it for Lady 1 before she leaves for NZ. In case she misses GD. 

As you can see, Gingi is going about his daily routine. He will stay at this exact spot, in the middle of the house where he could overlook everything. You can never not pass him/ ignore him when he's staying at this spot. That's the whole point tho. You can never ignore Ginger. He wants to be acknowledged and that's what he

A list of GD's Diva Antics:

a) He likes the cold. Thus he wants you to turn on the AC when he's in the room so that he could sleep comfortably.
b) He will only drink upstairs, outside the children's bathroom. On the other hand, he will only eat downstairs, next to the kitchen.
c) He won't drink yesterday's water or even today's water. He will only drink the water when he sees you you fill the bowl with fresh water.
d) He doesn't like to bathe. He will unleash the cat dragon within so the only way you get to clean him is to send him to the groomer. The groomer will have to sedate him unconscious in order to shower him though.
e) Don'
f) He only likes girls in shorts. He has a thing for legs.
g) No other cat can be in Lady 3's arms other than him. He hates it when he has to re-mark his territory. Besides, it will only get Madam angry. Now, do you know how cats mark their territory?
h) He only eats PREMIUM cat food. No Friskies for this cat. He will get some serious diarrhoea if he eats non-premium cat food. Talk about high maintenance.

Ginger is such a badass. He doesn't even want to look at my face when I want to skype with him. This is his treatment towards me. =_=

Don't want!

I said don't want to look at you!

Go away human. Kiss my beeeehind!

One of our family's favourite memory of Ginger is a bad one. It was basically all you don't want to happen during a storm. Imagine this, we were driving long distance to Terrenganu (7-9 hour drive), to go back for Eid celebrations but we had to bring Ginger along. Usually we would put him up for boarding if we're leaving for a trip but being Ginger, he got himself banned from all the pet shops in Shah Alam at the time. And it was EID! So we had to bring him along. That's just part one of the story.

Part two is about how Madam is trying to cut cost on GD's food. His premium cat food was getting really really expensive so we thought Gingi could start getting used to Friskies or Whiskers for once. To be honest, it was really bad timing lah to introduce him to his new food. Remember he gets diarrhoea from normal cat food.

Okay, so we're back in the story. We're going back for Eid and we had to bring GD along on this trip. It was at least a 7 hour drive and on board was a cat who's suffering from diarrhoea. At first it was going pretty well. It just turned 8pm and we were having a great time. We were singing along to John Legend's Green Light and we were laughing. All of that. Amazing time.

Then it started to rain.

Scratch that, it wasn't even rain. It was a freaking storm.

Cue M. Nasir's Suatu Hari di Hari Raya. The perfect song for what could have been our worst experiences ever as a family. The trip has started to take a toll on GD (don't blame the guy) and he needed to go so bad.

Which he did. Right in the car.

What's worse than normal poo?

The slimy kind.

SO yeah, that happened and mind you, the whole car went crazy. We opened all the windows but that's problematic because there was a storm raging outside and everything in the car got wet. Master stopped at a petrol station and Madam rushed to buy GD...diapers.

To us that was the most logical thing to do at the time. :/

While Madam did that, my siblings and I carried Ginger to the toilet; to clean him up. Believe me when I said that GD alone turned the toilet inside out. The place is small and he was running away from the water thus knocking things over. The whole place was wet. Madam came in with the diapers and we started to put it on  him. But we forgot one thing.

Where the hell will GD's tail go through?

Due to situation, Madam started cutting a hole at the bottom of the diaper while the rest of tried cleaning up Ginger. Because of the storm raging outside, at a point a blackout happened and we were trying to settle of this mess in the dark.

And the end, we ended with a fairly pissed Ginger, 5 soaking wet people and the Master making puking noises because he couldn't stand the smell in the car.

I think I did mention at one point of the night that despite what happened, we will laugh about it someday.

We did. :)

Little Prince
2002 - 30/1/2012 (6.45AM)

Ginger was a huge part of our childhood. Despite his diabolical ways, he was there when all of us needed something. Be it courage, confidence or love. I'm turning 22 this year and no longer a teen. I realized that he needed to go because he realized that the four of us are slowly leaving him. It's hard to admit but none of us are at home anymore. We grew up.

  On the way to bury him at our family's estate, my father asked what has he taught us. I said maybe...unconditional love. He taught us to love unconditionally especially between the seven of us. None of us expected anything from each other. We realized that the bond we share is special.

And it took us one special Cat Dragon to make us realize this.

We love you so much.

Have fun in heaven you spoiled orange fur ball. :')