Thursday, September 18, 2008

My First Visit To Universiti Malaya

Two Malaysians and fifteen Japanese.
One part inside the itinerary of the school trip of the Japanese students and lecturers was a visit to University Malaya (UM). It was the first visit to UM not only for them, but for me as well, as I have never stepped my foot into this university in the past.
The door just fits me.
We were there from morning to evening; that is almost half a day spent inside UM, visiting three faculties, namely the Mechanical Engineering Faculty, the Science Faculty and the Civil Engineering Faculty. Just like the first day, I came along with my fifth year senior, Idris who drove from Bangi, picked me up at Kajang and headed to UM to join the Japanese there.
We were fifteen minutes late when we arrived. Traffic jam.
Introduction session.
The first faculty we headed to was the Mechanical Engineering Faculty. The Head of Department was away to Putrajaya on some work commitments and we were greeted by one of the professors there, Professor Dr. Masjuki bin Haji Hassan. It started with the lecturers giving a brief self-introduction about themselves, followed by the students. That was when nightmare struck.
I bet that was one of the most anxious moment for the Japanese students, as they had to introduce themselves in English. They look as pale like a goat who mistakenly swallowed an ecstasy pill, from their facial expression.
Professor Dr. Aoyaki explaining the education system in Japan.
The session continued with the two sides giving a introduction about their respective university and college. This time, it was the face of the Japanese lecturers who looked like a goat, because they had to do it in English too. But everything went alright, without any major disaster for them. After going through those hard times for some time, they were relieved as ever. Broad smiles was spotted on their faces.
They later exchanged souvenirs as a token of appreciation for their visit to the place.
"I give you sushi, you give me satay."
Before we were taken to visit the labs, we took a photo inside the meeting room with Professor Dr. Masjuki.
Idris (far right) with his self-created 'peace' sign.
And the Japanese signed the guest book.
"Unibashiti ini cantek. Terima kaseh""
Professor Dr. Masjuki took us to a few labs around the department, among others were the computer lab and the materials lab.
At one of the labs, one local students was taken-aback when I greet her in Malay, because she thought I was a Japanese. Seriously, do I have a Japanese look? Anyway, we had a short chat while the professor were explaining the lab to the Japanese.
"This is how I slapped my wife."
"I use that hemisphere thing to perm my hair at times."
It was approaching noon, and we went for a lunch break before continuing our visit to the remaining two departments. The initial plan was to have lunch outside the university, but the Department of Mechanical Engineering was kind enough to treat us for our lunch.
We had our lunch at the canteen and the Japanese were not sure of the right way to take the dish served in a buffet way. I went first, and showed them the way. I told them just to take whatever dish they like after giving a very brief explanation on the dish; like "This is chicken, cooked in curry; bla bla bla..."
This was my plate.
The rendang ayam was simply orgasmic.
But in the end, I noticed that almost all of them took the same dish as mine. I guess they were unsure about what to take, hence they just took whatever I put on my plate. If there is something that will go wrong to my stomach, at least I will have to accompany them. I do not know whether I should laugh or cry seeing them.
Anyway, we continued our tour in UM by heading to the next department, which is the Science Faculty, in which the Head of Department is Idris's mum, Professor Madya Dr. Noor Hasnah binti Moin. Idris tried hard not to make his presence there look awkward and I should say that he did a pretty good job. Even during the question and answer session, he conducted it in a formal way, even though he was speaking to his mum. Basically, we did the similar thing like what we did earlier that day.
Professor Dr. Noor Hasnah introducing her department to the guests.
Professor Dr. Aoyagi explaining some details about the technical colleges, also known as kosen in Japan.
Lecturers introducing themselves to each other.
Followed by the students.
It was one time during the middle of the self-introduction session, when one of the local lecturer who has been to Japan several times, was ased to speak some Japanese. She did, and she sounded just like a native Japanese.
"Hai minasan, konnichiwa. Hajimashite. Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu."
It later continued with a free question-and-answer session where anybody can ask the others just about anything they want to know. It was conducted in English, but in the end, the two of us turned into the translator between the locals and the Japanese. Idris went first, and he translated the questions from the Japanese lecturers and students into English which are meant for the locals. I did the opposite, and it was slightly tougher because sometimes I just could not find the right word in Japanese.
But in the end, it was fun and quite an experience for both of us.
My Japanese lecturer's face turned like the Incredible Hulk for a second.
Another group shot.

Before we visited the last department, they exchanged gifts and took a group picture together as usual. My senior and me thought there would not be anything for us, but we later noticed that there were extra two goodies bags and we went to the front to receive them, while smiling sheepishly.
The Civil Engineering Faculty was third department we visited that day. But it was not as fun as the Science Faculty because both sides seemed did not know what to do when we were there. There were no slide shows presentation anymore this time, but just some discussions followed by the visit to the few labs.
It was a tad boring, to be honest.
Local students doing their experiments on the strength of bridge's structure.
Having a short chat with the local students.
Another section of the lab that involves heavy metal.
One of the member of this trip was the head librarian in my ccollege and she was so interested to have a look at the library of the university. After doing some consultations with the people from UM and adjusting the schedule, we managed to get the permission to tour the library.
The library was not as big as what I had thought initially.
A brief explaination before we tour the library.
There were more than 1.4 million collection of book in this library, according to one of the librarian.
One last group picture of the day.
That visit to the library summed up our day at University Malaya.


Endoru said...

Oh my ... my sister's definitely studying in a big nice university. Meeting up with AAJ students or Japanese language learning students might have been fun as well. Anyway, I see you are wearing the pink shirt your bought. It looks good on you. ;)

mg said...

i tot their lib quite big, one whole building. but not as big as otago uni lib in dunedin. hehe

Anonymous said...

"But in the end, I noticed that almost all of them took the same dish as mine. I do not know whether I should laugh or cry."

haha..part ni lawak..

calvin said...

@ endoru:
you mean your sister is currently studying in universiti malaya? we did not have the time to meet up with the students from aaj though.

yes, it was the shirt that i bought recently. and thanks :)

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
yes, it is a whole building, but it is nothing compared to the huge library in ukm :)

calvin said...

@ zek:
i think i laughed, instead of crying that time xD

Kae Vin said...

U arranged all this? wow

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
some yes, some no. but actually, the ones which are arranged by myself are places which i have never been to before, hence i include those places into the itinerary xD

Endoru said...

Urm, yeah, my sister is studying East Asian Studies in UM, majoring in Japanese language. She might have a chance to come here if she continues to maintain good grades. :)

calvin said...

@ endoru:
i see. with her having such a bright brother, i am sure she will follow your footsteps very soon. good luck to your sis :)

K3ViN said...

"They look as pale like a goat who mistakenly swallowed an ecstasy pill, from their facial expression" i like this line... haha :P UM? i have visit this place b4...... past 4 or 5 years ago when my sister study there...... nice place anywhere :P

calvin said...

@ k3vin:
thanks. it was more to crappings from me =P