Bohemia Bunnie

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

How to Move into a Hostel Room

This is what happens if you like creature comforts and insist on surrounding yourself with them while studying abroad.
Boxes everywhere
Mess on the bed

And I'm going crazy with the mess! I have so much stuff!

But after some patient sorting and putting away, and some domestic duties...
Bed neatly made
Everything put away
Not flustered!
I return to sanity.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Fun with my camera

There's a litter of kittens running around the backyard of the house opposite. They are so damn cute that I took a whole load of pictures from my bedroom window. (I hope the other neighbour didn't think I was being a peeping Tom.

There's a tortoiseshell mother, 3 black-and-white kittens and one black kitten. I love the black one best because I have a soft spot for sooties.
Cat Family
You can see the one in the corner eating what I think is a pigeon. No idea how the mother caught it.

Black Kitten
This is the darling little black one.

Later it started to rain heavily, and I wondered what they did about shelter. The Cat Mama answers visually below.
Give me your huddled masses
She offered her body to the elements as her babies huddled under her for warmth. Cats hate getting wet, but she sat stoically, protecting her children.

Hot Chocolate
And this is inspired by Cowboy Caleb's fondness for pictures of Starbucks. My mates and I went for hot chocolate there, to finish our feminine chat. Caleb can have this pic if he likes, I don't think it's very good.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Something bugs me about this place...

I had dinner with my girlfriends, and as females are wont to do, we talked for ages. The content of the conversation, however, was not the typical female stuff.

One of them is studying at the currently-much-maligned Crimea State Medical University. It's under intense scrutiny from the Government about its recognition status, and some of the issues raised were the "drop in standards" and an alleged rape. I'm not a medical student, so I have nothing to compare their standards with, but my friend had something to say about the alleged rape.

If there was a rape at a university, you don't respond by derecognising the university. You see if you can help the student. You investigate! The alleged rape wasn't the main reason, but the fact that they can sit there and go "eh there was a rape, let's derecognise it" showcases something wrong somewhere. Does no one care that someone could be hurt and traumatised? The rape issue didn't get any more attention than the initial statement. Huh?

And my other friend had a run-in with the police. She was in a parked car with her boyfriend, talking. I swear that was all they were doing. She was extremely upset and needed to vent and there was nowhere to talk quietly. So they're there in the car, and along comes a police car. You don't need me to tell you what comes next. The policeman approaches, with his gun. It wasn't specified if he was actually holding it, but I guess he must have been, because my friend was really freaked out. And normally if it was in the holster we don't freak out. So here comes an armed policeman, approaching a car with two harmless uni students inside. And he demands identification. Guys, learn from this. You don't hand over your identification. You tell them to meet you at the police station and if they like, they can take down your car license plate. Anyway, after what happened next, I'm hanging on to my I.D.

The policeman took their ID and went back to his car. Well, you know what it takes to get it back, don't you? My friend and her boyfriend scrounged up all the money they had and the boy went off to get back their ID. By the way, he didn't offer them the money. The policeman said something that can be construed as a request or demand for money. Eventually they got their ID back, along with a cautionary tale and a whole chestload of wronged feelings.

Their crime? "Close proximity". Under Syariah law, an unmarried male-female pair cannot be alone together in close contact. Or something like that. But you know what? My friend isn't a Muslim, and neither is her boyfriend! And last I heard, the Syariah law only applies to Muslims, at least in this country anyway. So unless they expanded the jurisdiction, they weren't doing anything wrong. There may be something about 'close proximity' in the Penal Code, I don't know for sure. But to the best of my knowledge, they weren't doing anything wrong.

This isn't the first time I've heard of something like this. A few months ago, a Chinese couple got pulled up for 'lewd conduct' or something similar. According to the boy's testimony, they were holding hands in KLCC park. That's all. Hey, guys, you know what, I don't think it's the Chinese couples you need to worry about...

More clothes shenanigans: My friend got into trouble at her university for flouting the dress code (as interpreted by the security guards at the entrance). They told her to write down her name and ID number in the 'offender's book'. She went to the Student Affairs office where the admin staff sorted it out for her. Who appointed the security guards to be the moral guardians anyway? If there's anyone to tell off a student, it should be the admin or teaching staff who came up with the dress code! (Or are at least capable of interpreting it reasonably.)

As if that wasn't bad enough, the same security guard who 'caught' my friend was ogling her. What rubbish. You get your kicks ogling the girls and then decide to 'exercise your power' and get them for breaking the dress code? Hypocritical abuse of power, isn't it? I told my friend this was good enough incentive to make one cover up. Then they won't have anything to see. I don't want horrible nasty men looking at me!

I did some pseudo-psychological analysis of the situation and came up with this hypothesis:

Muslim women have to cover up, so the Muslim men have nothing to look at. Then you have the non-Muslims strutting around in tight tops and short skirts, which drives the Muslim men absolutely mad because their own women can't wear those. So, out of spite, they make everybody adhere to their dress code.

I know, I know, there are moderate Muslims out there who think like me, dress like me (to a certain extent) and live like me, but their voice is sadly lacking. Their not-so-moderate kin are running the show.

What's that phrase again? The lunatics are taking over the asylum. I'm not referring to anyone in particular, I just like the imagery of the phrase and decided to put it in my post. That's all.
(Can you tell that I need a good lawyer to protect me?)