Community service diary 

In Malaysia, the government requires every student to do community service before they graduate their tertiary education. I did mine over the summer, and this is a collection of my reflection journal for my 3 days spent at PDK, a non profit organisation centre for disabled children in Semenyih

On Monday, at PDK were the cerebral palsy kids. These kids struggle with their minor muscle movements and can’t walk, some can’t even sit. I was in awe to see all the children incapable of their own voluntary movement – I felt grateful for being born healthy with all 4 limbs attached and well- functioning.

When we came in, they were all on the floor surrounded by 2 ladies (one teacher, one nanny/caretaker) each child giving the kids massages. The massage softens their muscles and also, their joints because with cerebral palsy their joints tend to tense up. We then learnt how to massage the joints too with guidance by the caretakers. We also bought some whistles and some bubbles for them to exercise their minor muscle movement of blowing. They were all so excited when they saw the bubbles, and tried so hard to blow. Some failed while other succeed, but everyone including the caretakers were laughing and enjoying our simple act.

I spoke to one of the mother of the children  about an operation available for the cerebral palsy kids. I asked whether she was considering it, she simply shook her head and said “God gave me him for a reason, to love him and care for him. Not to fix what was already made perfect by God.” It truly touched me, and left me stunned for quite a while. That someone could actually have so much faith, and be so grateful and accepting towards life and what God gave them.

That was my lesson for day 1 – to simply be grateful. Be grateful for whatever life has given, in whatever condition God gave it. Everything happens for a reason I’d like to believe. Sometimes life gives you problems that you don’t even need to repair or fix, but just accept.



Summer 2k17

I’ve always waited for inspiration to kick in before I start writing. BUT BLANK. My mind has been blank. Thus, no update since the last post in April. IT’S JUNE ALINA. But I’ve been meaning to write about my few final days before the summer holidays. So here is the post, that will commemorate my Summer 2k17


To start off, it’s difficult being friends with international students. Once it’s summer, they’re all gone. Each and everyone boarding on a different plane going back to places they each call home. Be it Singapore, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Dubai or even Jordan. Spread across the world, all we had was our shared final night in Nottingham. It was my final night at the place where I spent the first few weeks crying and struggling to find comfort in a home away from home, only to find myself surprisingly… dreading to leave.


It’s surprising what a foreign place can turn into when you put the right people in it. A room is only a room, but with the right people it’s a home. I discovered my love for my first year of degree reaching it’s peak during the final weeks of exams season. This is where we bond most I guess, while everyone face their own struggles. We tend to depend on each other more for emotional support. The Core Crew (lame I know), but we literally spent everyday with each other – breakfast, lunch, dinner. With piles of books, and empty packets of snacks on the table. Sharing movies in-between revision breaks with 12am quizzes, and 2am naps. Stress was instantaneously paired with laughter.



Other than my friends, I did fall in love with the place too. I found comfort in Nasi Kukus in front of Tesco, RM4 uber rides to McDonalds, RK Fatima Roti Telur for 3pm breakfast and all-day fluffy Pancakes at Breakfast Club. Although, I hated how far away UNMC was from the city, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this numerous of times previously. But being in the middle of nowhere do have its perks. One major one as the visible starry sky. The stars that would accompany me during my pitch black walk back to my room from the Core, made me want to study longer into the night. Because the later the night, the darker the sky – hence, more stars. It would scatter all around, and sometimes cluster at one side. At the UNMC bridge, I would stand there for hours feeling so small comparing myself to the universe.




On my last night in UNMC, we did exactly that. But rather than standing on the bridge, we sat at the rooftop. Lied on the metallic roof, with the sounds of sniffling mice and stepping into the unseen puddles on the floor. We stayed there for the whole night. Only left to eat right before dawn. We lied flat on the roof, and tilted our head up to look above and noticed how infinite the universe is – realising the sphere shape of the world. Contemplating the existence of other creatures of God and how lonely it would be if we were the only living thing in the entire universe. Whenever, a bird would fly across we would be startled and, if we were quiet enough we could hear every plane that flew above us.



However, it was Aimin’s Penis shaped constellation, Izran’s philosophy class and Mali’s laughter echoing across the night – that made it an incomparable night. The comfortable silence, of nothing but our heavy breathing accompanied with Coldplay’s music. I also finally found the sole purpose of it, it’s to be played for moments like this. To feel nostalgic for something that hasn’t passed yet, but we know will. We were harmonising to Yellow, and whispered all together “I want something just like this.”   And in that moment, while we stared into “forever” and celebrated each shooting star we didn’t miss – I felt both immortal and mortal all at once.

February diary 

Broga Hill – last minute trip ! Not prepared at all, but found an awesome Uber driver who picked us up at 4.30 AM and willingly guided us through the hill as he called it his playground. It was so risky, trusting an uber driver at such hour. Alhamdulillah it turned out well, he’s even a photographer who shot Malaysia’s Astronaut guy’s wedding. Crazy right? So he took the pictures of us as a group. Thank you Randy!

Monopoly deal – card games were what we played to kill time. Courtesy of Mali. (I still don’t know how to play)

My best friend’s birthday ! Aimin Omar Ali – We celebrated midnight by going to TREC the night before his birthday for the Nottingham’s charity event of Lock and Key (where all the girls get a lock, and boys gets a key and you’re meant to find your match). Pretty cute way to meet if you were single. But oh god the innuendos !!!
Picture of first day of sem 2. S02E01

Mahlstrom gear launch party – I was Amirul’s +1 for this event. The room was filled with tetesterone that night, Mel and I hovered just next to the buffet table eating away nibblets trying not to be awkward. The collection of the sportswear were of great quality, (as I am told by Amirul and Mateen). You can get more info – @mahlstromgear on instagram.

Valentine’s Night – First time celebrating Valentine’s Day with Amirul. And I got to say, never doing it again. Everywhere was packed ! I didn’t know Malaysia took Valentine’s Day so seriously. It was crowded everywhere, but we did manage to get a nice dinner in the end. I got flowers from him, after a long time of me saying I didn’t want any more flowers. And I gave him his favourite donut, a card (YODA BEST) and a luggage tag with a picture of Yoda on it. Since that week he was trying to convince me to watch Star Wars… Atlas now I actually know who Yoda is. Good enough right?

Highrollers – how did I go through a whole sem without half of yall ?


The month of January

In 2017, I begin my year prepping for my Semester exams. Great start huh? Sitting around, writing notes, talking to myself trying to understand everything while biting my pen. I’ve spent 90% of the time spent with Aimin and Nate. 2 lost souls that have made my time in Notts the best of days. It’s amazing how we got real close, real quick. In the span of A WEEK !!! Group chat named Little ho ho ho.

They’re the life of me in Notts. Waking up at 3pm, and meeting up for breakfast, studying psychology – discussing on how to change courses when we hit a bump in Cognitive that’s impossible to understand. We just instantly click. Lying in Nate’s room, sleeping on the inflatable bed while terribly singing songs while Nate plays the guitar. Drinking tea at midnight. They make me excited to go there which is the feeling I’ve craved for.

Being in Uni is hard. Half of my things are at home, the other half in my dorm room. Closet split in half, the other things.. well, I buy two of everything just to make life easier. I’ve felt half hearted, not completely feeling at home wherever I am. The moment I get comfortable at home, I have to go back to uni. The struggle is more emotional than physical really. But yeah, I’ve found things to be excited for both at home and at uni.

What else happened in Jan..
Debbie left 😦 She went back to Aussieland. I might not see her till next year?? (Remember its 2017 now) She’s not coming back for next christmas or mid year. So that’s gonna be hard. It’s hard having your best friends living in another country, so far away from you. It was so nice having her here, someone I have to talk to about anything. Not having to fill them up about the past to explain the present things, or not having the need to explain who I am as a person for them to understand. That was Debbie. Known me from 2011? But with internet what is distance right? I still have Mimi though, so it’s good. He’s not going anywhere.

But Mimi, started uni. Even though his uni is close by to mine, we only meet up on weekends. So far, we’ve met up every weekend catching up with stories and life update. We’re really close, it’s kinda funny. Mind you, I met this boy at tuition (after school classes). We had no mutual friends, not in the same school, nothing. Would just meet after school at night, for classes that lasts 1-2 hours. Yet, he’s the closest thing I have other than Amirul right now. Coming over at night, catching up with not only me but my family. So comfortable, lying on the floor talking about his crush of the week finishing up the ribena at home. Not knowing when to leave, until it’s just the two of us outside while he smokes and I listen.

I guess all this reminiscing is just my lesson of the month, the importance of friendship, great friendships to be exact. The friends you would live in an empty room with. The ones who would make the best out of nothing, but just of each other. How important it is to have friends to make an empty space a home just by filling it up with laughter. I’m thankful for these friends of mine.


Guess who’s back!

Ninnah Musa Morgaaaaaaaaaan. She was my best friend when I was in St Marylebone. ❤️ She’s half malaysian, half British. And she’s back for a summer holiday – after years of saying “I think I’m gonna come back. I think I’m coming back this year.”

When she told me she was coming back, I didn’t really have my hopes up. But when she said “my flight is on Monday” I SCREAMED. HAHAHAH I told my mom “ninnah’s coming back” she’s like “oh okay”. I said “on Monday” my mom’s face so surprised “REALLY?”
Yeap. Now she’s here. On the first day of meeting her, I picked her up with my mom. And I asked Alia to bring us out, to Yellow Brick Road for some pancakes! Ninnah and Alia hit it off real well. It wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable. Alia’s good with meeting people Anyways. Ninnah was googling touristy places to go and she found a temple nearby – Thean Hou Temple. When she said “can we go here? Have you ever been here ?” Both me and Alia just looked at each other, and shook our head. We’re such bad Malaysians.
Alia wazed the way to the temple. When we first saw the temple, both Alia and I went “whoaaaaaaaaaaaa!” We didn’t know such thing existed in Malaysia. It was such a beautiful temple. I felt like I was in China for a moment.

We took pictures like tourists. Rotating between each other for individual pictures and a paired picture. It was really funny, how Alia and Ninnah just automatically know their angles and their poses. I just stand infront of the camera awkwardly. I’ve never been comfortable to just pose, I always end up laughing.

So ignorant of us. -as a malaysian with all the different culture and races. We should take advantage of it and learn more about each other’s culture. We should appreciate the diversity, and how it can open up wider scope of knowledge on different cultures. Especially when the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia know so much about Malays and our culture. But it’s so ignorant of us to not know much about them. They know Haram and Halal food. Some even know our prayer times. It was such a humbling, I should definitely learn more about the other cultures. And this was definitely a start.

Why I take so long to clean up

With all this room ‘adulting’, I also had to declutter. I’ve been decluttering a lot this year, I gave away half my closet and I also gave/sold all my toys away. Because in my head, the more old things I get rid off, the more space I make for new things which equals to… MORE SHOPPING!
Today I was going through all the clutter in my closet. And I found these little gems. There’s something about presents, cards, and old memory boxes that I can’t throw away or declutter.

It was some sort of guestbook I had where I pasted everyone’s birthday cards. I’m glad I did this, I even wrote everyone’s names. It’s so much better than keeping the cards one by one all messy.

Even a lost card, was stuck in the pile. It’s Debbie’s card for me when we were 15 ❤️ and I found the scrapbook she made for my 16th. I honestly love presents like these. It makes me cry, I’m gonna keep it till I’m grey and I go “Debbie who?”

I’m so happy we’re still each other’s best friends and have our yearly traditions.

Alia made me a scrap book too.

With all the birthday messages and all. It was sweet. Really, I cherish these gifts.

And this one *points downwards* was from Julian. He got it for my 15th birthday. It’s one of the sweetest present I’ve ever gotten. HELLO. I GOT A STAR NAMED AFTER ME ?! Some Walk to Remember shit right there. The star was coordinated to be right above my house on the week of my birthday or something like that. (Alina “twinkle” Nazri was my name on Facebook when I was 13 or something.) It was the cool thing to do then ok. Even in Sri Utama there were two Alina’s and I’m known as “Alina Twinkle” HAHAHHAHA I know how ridiculous that sounds now. Don’t judge me! *Hides under blanket*

Now let’s throw it waaaaaaay back.  With a picture of me during my school days. During film photography days – BI (before iPhone)

That was my primary school. Year 6, our final days before “the real world” (secondary school). I still have some of these people on Instagram which I find amazing.

These pictures above, are pictures from my school trip to Isle of Wight. Where I did all these outdoor things and so called “camped” (in a room with 4 bunk beds) HAHAH. My sister laughed at me comparing her camping trip in Malaysia, where she stayed in the woods with no lights and people get possessed…

These are the best memories of my life, compiled in albums as they sit in dusty boxes way up in my closet. I’m glad I kept them. Most of these pictures I didn’t even remember till I came across them again. They are proof of my experiences and also proof of the love I receive from my friends. I mean c’mon, you can’t make a whole scrapbook for someone if you didn’t love them right?? I’m glad most of these people are still in my life today.