Monday, February 26, 2007

Selepas Subuh

From my apartment's window...after Subuh prayer.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Settling in at Ithaca

I'm slowly settling in at this beautiful university town, Ithaca.There are so many nice and warm people here.It helps me cope with the cold (look at the snow!)

Last night Andrew organised a dinner and he had some close friends from New York City, Wisconsin and Cornell itself. We had very nice foods prepared by his lovely wife. And what a pleasant company too.

I bought a nice pair of red boots to walk in the snow.And a rice cooker which made me very much at home after cooking a Chinese-style lunch at my apt.

The first day I arrived (Feb 16) I had to shovel snow from the pavement.What an exercise.I think I will lose weight easily here. Ithaca is hilly and steep and the uni is some distance away.Everyone says it's walking distance not knowing the Msian attitude towards walking...but I'll do it to save money. :))

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

One night in Detroit

I'm stuck in Detroit.

I missed my connecting flight to Ithaca cos' Northwest was 30 mins behind time from Narita.Customs clearance took a while at Detroit and wham bam, I missed my flight! No flights going to Ithaca today.Either they are full or they are cancelled cos' Detroit (and Chicago) are expecting snow blizzard and a lot of airports are close.Maaakkk...nak balik!!!

I'm grateful I got my wireless pc with me so I could write this, talk with my friends on Skype, reply my emails, etc.Nina rang to tell me it's OK..this happens all the time and it shld clear up in a day or two.NW put me in a hotel tapi makanan dia tak sedap but free.At least I have a warm bed/room tonight.And I'm safe.So syukur alhamdulillah.

Two good news: Rachel of Missouri wrote to ask if she could stage my short story for her theatre class assignment (I don't know her..she sent an email asking to interview me, etc).She said she fell in love with my "Woman from hell" short story (SNW2).Of cos' I said go ahead! This is the only thing that makes me warm today.Penat tau naik k/terbang dari pukul 10.45 pm Feb 12, tak tidur2 kat Spore all night to catch a 6 am flight to Narita, berkejar2 mcm org kena cirit birit to catch flight to Detroit...then got stuck up, tak leh pi Ithaca straightaway.Maybe I shld be positive about it? Boleh rehat kejap? Hilangkan jet lag?

News kedua: Australian e-journal sought permission from Seal Press to reprint my poem 'My Veil, My Body'.Bestnya...I quote the impt bit they wrote to the publisher: "We seek to complement these essays with poetry, to add poetic insight to the current social, cultural and / or legal arguments and debates about racism and racial violence, and about social and cultural separation, exile and discrimination. We are hoping to use, with Seal Press' permission, Abdul Manaf's poem, "The Veil, My Body," to accompany the edition's focus. Abdul Manaf's poems will be situated on the page preceding the articles that deal with the subject of cultural discrimination in Australia and elsewhere."

Of cos' I said go ahead.Let VOICE travel wherever it wants.I wish I could enclose a pic of Detroit in snow today.But I tak kuasa.I penat.

Oh security check at Changi was very thorough.They checked my J-I Visa there and then lagi.Loghat.The officer kena tegur dgn I sebab pegang my letter from the State Dept lama sangat.I tak suka.Takut hilang or I terlupa nak ambik balik.He said I was very, very, very,very organised (lain macam usage je of the word 'very'.I thought the word he wanted to use was 'fussy') I told him the letter was impt.If he held it (he didn't want to give it back to me immediately after seeing it) and forgot to give it back to me, I'd be in trouble. He said if I were worried, he'd be even more worried.Duh!

Japan was OK.Very polite about it all. I think in any one's country's concern with security and safety, every visitor must not be treated suspiciously or handled like suspects.I got that in Spore but not Japan.Not even in the USA! USA's slogan at the airport is cool: keeping USA open to the world and ensuring safety of our nation. And I don't think it's because I have the J-1 visa.At customs' clearance bukan dia tau pun.Dia tengok declaration form tu je.
nota tambahan: one night in detroit became 3 nights cos' Ithaca airport was close due to bad weather till Feb 16.