Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clearance @ UIA

                                       UNIVERSITI ISLAM ANTARABANGSA

Something common when our dwelling is situated hundred miles away from the place of study, and definitely, plenty of money is to be ‘invented’ for such a long journey. This story is normal and undergone by many people who’re named perantau’ in Bahasa. My departure to the Capital City on Sept 14 recently wasn’t something exciting. To be honest, I felt rather reluctant to go. However, I knew I’d have to go somehow on account of my accountability as a graduand.

Six hours elapsed and at last I arrived safely at Hentian Bas Putra. The bus station is under construction. Urm, seems I haven’t been to KL for long. After performing the Morning Prayer (Subuh) in the surau nearby, I just stayed there ‘impatiently’ waiting for the sunrise that morning. Only did I leave the surau several minutes before 7.

By getting on an LRT, I reached the Gombak LRT station the next half an hour or so. I then took a RapidKL bus. Just unbelievable that I was already on campus as early as 8 o’clock. Through my random observation, a large number of students were already on their way to morning lectures. Since it’s too early, I breakfasted at Mahallah Ali Ibn Abi Talib Cafe – the cafe at which I used to have my breakfast when I was a full-time UG student.

Apparently, my tummy was already full. It’s now time to move to Mahallah Uthman Ibn Affan whose location is just next to Sayyidina Hamzah Stadium. I’d to ‘climb up’ Block A cos my buddy’s staying on the 4th floor. His room was where I squatted over my 2-day and 1-night stay. I took a little rest right after ‘checking in’ the room.

                                          Mahallah Uthman Ibnu Affan

At 11 something, quickly I got prepared and went to the office of Mahallah Bilal Ibn Rabah. I told the staff to do clearance. Wait a minute!

“Did I tell you what clearance exactly means?” “Oh, not yet.”

Aha. Say after me. C-L-E-A-R-A-N-C-E, clearance! What the hell is that? Frankly speaking, I’ve no idea what other IPTAs in the country probably call that. It’s like something urgent so as to ensure the smoother flow of a graduand’s graduation later on. Quite tricky to put in plain English here. As I was too much concerned if I’d already overpaid all the Uni fees primarily the mahallah (college) fee, I therefore made a complaint regarding the ‘dilemma’ I had. The staff suggested that I write an official letter to the Principal of the mahallah ASAP to get approval of my preceding application for staying off campus, 1 month before my teaching practise commenced in the past.

I spent about RM1.20 for writing the letter and printing it out at Mahallah Al-Farouq CC. It’s really exhausting to get the letter finished by referring to the English formatted letter. Then, I directly took my printed letter to the mahallah office. I was told to wait for the Principal of the mahallah to approve the letter. Unhappily, the Principal was said to be there only after 3pm. The staff undertook to hit me up once it’d been approved. Checking out the current time, it’s only 30 minutes past 12. Now I’d to wait for the next 2 hours? Ah, damn it! Sorry for cursing.

But nevertheless, I didn’t waste the time as such. I moved to the Darul Hikmah Library with the same motive i.e. to do clearance. Wow, no problem at all! After going to the library, next I walked to the Admissions & Records Division for a so-called short cut. According to a slightly cute female staff in the office, I should’ve first settled my financial matters at the Finance Division and lastly the division. OK, fine! No idea where to go next, so I thought hanging out at the Information and Technology Division Laboratory would be interesting. What the heck had I been up to? Of course, it’s a computer lab and I'd gone online for a couple of hours whilst waiting for the 3pm. One tends to take their mind off the world for the time being once the mouse is in their hand, you know. That’s my dreadful habit. Awesome! (Sarcasm)

It’s a quarter to 3 now and I went back to the mahallah office for the second time. This time, I wished the Principal had approved my letter already and it’s ready to be collected. Oh my! Not yet. “Do I need to keep waiting? What the...” I growled alone. I felt I was the unluckiest guy on that day because I just noticed that the following day was a public holiday a.k.a ‘Malaysia Day’. Oh my gosh! In other words, only did I have the whole Wednesday to get everything over by 5pm. Now, just 1 hour to go before the office hour ended. Meantime, I was freaking starving and didn’t seem to move anywhere else. “I think I’d better take my lunch over here,” I quickly decided.

Not so long after that, I got a phone call from the Principal. I was to see him in person at his office right away. There, I could explain to him my dilemma in detail. So disappointing, he himself couldn’t even lend me a hand unless I did possess the evidence firmly stating that I used to check in my room on Jan 21st. Served me right! I wasn’t supposed to be that loyal looking forward to seeing him till 3pm! It’s not more than a waste of my golden time either!!! Had I been to the Finance Division much earlier, everything would’ve been settled. Urgh, I couldn’t even get the Principal’s approval, moreover! Plus, there’s, in fact, nothing to be approved. Shit! Again, I cursed. What a waste of time!!! Indeed, time flies. Consequently, I'd to run to the Finance Division... a quite faraway place. By walking, I could be sweaty to get there which is located far at the Rectory Building. Huh!

                                               THE RECTORY BUILDING

Alas... so many students were in... most of them were International students... but I went to the counter straightaway. I really had a constraint of time. Only 20 minutes left and I’d just settled around 80%, O-M-G! I attempted to have the staff’s attention. I did. I felt so grateful for being served shortly. I complained I’d been charged RM220 during the last short semester, ironically, I already graduated. If so, what else is the mahallah registration for? Besides, I grew more anxious about, again,  the time constraint and you know what? I’d yet to go to the Muamalat Bank to overcome any expected debts with the Uni, if any. In addition, the bank is a 3-minute walk as well. Ah, now only 10 minutes left. I was freaking worried like hell. “Where’re you Akak? my dear... hurry up, please... I don’t have much time now!” I begged like a baby. She came out at last. Huh, it calmed me down. She then handed me my financial statement. “Alright,” she declared, “you’re done! The Uni will refund to you RM195 once it’s ready.” Personally, it’s too astounding and surprising. Because of that, I didn’t need to go to the bank any longer! My time was saved a lot, too. Thank you ALLAH.

I ran out of the division as fast as a running cheetah. Fuyoo! The Admissions & Records Division was just less than 500 metres away from where I was at the moment. I no longer cared about the walking people around. As soon as I got there, alhamdulillah, the division was still open. I came in and met up the cute female staff once again. I was required to write down my full name and so on in a book on the table. Shortly afterwards, she handed me my academic transcript together with an envelope.

My clearance was eventually done! 

Yeah, I did it!

I wished I could scream!

Only did God know how overjoyed I was feeling at present. I didn’t go back to mahallah directly. When passing the Post Office, I remembered I hadn’t yet posted my Borang Pengesahan Tamat Pengajian di IPTA. Again, I was so lucky ‘cause the post office wasn’t yet closed. I purchased an envelope of Pos Ekspress. It cost me RM4.50.

Now it’s a perfect time to celebrate my success! I walked to Human Science Cafe, eating lasagne and drinking a glass of Pepsi with ice. Subsequently, what else to do? I went to the ITD Lab again to ‘hang out’. What to do? Facebooking, for sure!

After a short while, I came back to Mahallah Uthman Ibn Affan, having my body washed and performing solah. Good news! I was invited for dinner at the Human Science Cafe by a bosom friend. We talked like there’d be no more tomorrow till late at midnight. Lots of topics we’d been talking over all night. At that night, I too had an appointment with a junior. I actually wanted to copy some favourite movies from his external hard disk. Poor him! Nonetheless, I’d texted him already and informed that I was likely to come over a bit late. I stopped talking to my friend by 1am and took an advantage by asking his kindness to send me to Mahallah Ali Ibn Abi Talib where the junior is staying. Completely far if I walked... besides, it’s at midnight. Not really good for a single like me. Ngeh3x...   

So pleased after copying all the movies back and they’re approx. 60 movies altogether. Cool! I only went back to Mahallah Uthman Ibn Affan after 2:30 am. I felt relatively frightened as many mahallah-dwellers had already gone back home due to the public holiday on Friday. They got 3 days off. Hence, the college looked a lot quieter than ever. When reaching the room, what’s on my mind was off to bed, then!


I ain’t in the mood for breakfast that morning ‘cause it’s almost at noon. Coincidentally, a roommate invited me for brunch. Let me introduce who he is. He’s currently a Second Year UG student doing Bachelor of Economics & Management Science and majoring in Finance. Wait up! I forgot to tell you that he’s an Afghan as well as international student. He comes from the faraway country of Afghanistan, far from the Middle East. Freaking hilarious because I’ve never known what his name is... whereas it’s a must-ask query and I’d have asked him that first prior to our long conversation. Gosh! Guess what we ate? He cooked the food by himself and wasn’t as lazy as me. He did tell me the name of the food – yet sorry guys, I always took it for granted. On top of that, it’s non-Malaysian food. So, don’t ask me more about it, please...

Whilst eating, he happened to inquire, “How did the food taste?” In order to respect his diverse culture, I pretended and told a white lie, “Oh, so appetizing!” Kwang3x...

Nearly 1pm, the other roommate who’s a Bangladeshi was about to go out. I tell you what? I initially thought he were a Malay since his face looks like ‘Mamak Penang’. I spoke Bahasa to him the other night. Moreover, he didn’t introduce himself and looked unfriendly. I saw he just nodded his head indicating as if he understood what I just barely asked. LOL.

< Makan...makan jugak.. solat Jumaat tu jangan lupa ye >

Gotta go! I told the Afghan I was going to the Sultan Ahmad Shah Mosque. Well... I didn’t want to be late either, not to mention the mosque is a 5-minute walk away. I was convinced that he forgot about Jumaat prayer. That’s why I reminded him, “It’s Friday, man!”

I brought along the envelope of Pos Ekspress I bought the day before on my way to the mosque. It contained a complete form which I’ve talked about earlier, Borang Pengesahan Tamat Pengajian, remember? I’d filled it in prior to the brunch with the Afghan. Before I went to the mosque, I’d stopped by at the Post Office in order to post the form.

After Jumaat prayer, ‘gawat’, my mobile phone battery was getting low. Even worse, I deliberately left my Nokia charger at home and thought that it could last for a few days. Thus, I benefited the remaining credit and texted some friends of mine asking for help. Hoped any one of them had a Nokia charger with him/her. Most replied to the sms, sadly all replied ‘No’. I finally went back. Before going to Mahallah Bilal Ibn Rabah, I stopped by at Mahallah Ali Ibn Talib Cafe and intended to have my lunch there. There’re a lot of people around, so I chose to only take away.

At Mahallah Bilal Ibn Rabah, I went to my friend’s room – it’s mine for the last 2 semesters. Just ‘putting up’ having my meal. Then, I went to the next door hanging out with my other friends until 5:30. I realised I’d better leave. I was to go out of the campus much earlier to Hentian Bas Putra as I didn’t yet get my express bus ticket. I didn’t want history repeated itself. I used to suffer when tickets were all sold out at one night. At least, not at that night! Besides, it’s at the weekend. It happened once to me the last few years, you know. When I was going out, it’s unexpectedly raining cats and dogs. Gosh, my clothes!!! I ran as fast as possible to Mahallah Uthman Ibn Affan to ‘save’ my clothes I washed in the morning despite the fact that my body got wet.

While busily packing my stuff, the Afghan roommate, who’s in the room, seemed dissatisfied and wanted to converse with me more. Hmm, sorry babe, I gotta leave. Furthermore, I totally forgot the towel I hung on a hanger. How forgetful! That evening, around 6 o’clock prompt I took a Metro bus heading to Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Alhamdulillah, the ticket to Kuala Terengganu was still available. Syukran ya Allah! What made me feel damn weird was the latest departure time. Oh my God, the earliest one is at 9 pm??? As far as I knew, 10 was always the earliest. Most typically, only do express buses leaving for the state of Kelantan start earlier than that. However, I bought the 9pm ticket and this new schedule is awesome! I tended to feel fed up if I stayed there much longer. Strictly speaking, I got on a Transnasional double-decker express bus.

I arrived in Kuala Terengganu safely at 4am on Saturday morning. Yahoo! Deep in my heart I said...

...dapat jugak aku lepas rindu kat UIA. Hehe. =)



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