Good Old Days

I’ve mentioned somewhere in this site that I never liked to take photos, or to be in them. I still don’t. In fact, I never travelled with a camera, and to this day I actually still do not know how to operate a digital camera (to the dismay of everyone who ever asked me to snap photos with one).

People often ask me: will you not regret it later? I don’t know. Perhaps not. I do not experience any special feeling when looking at old photos. When people inevitably ask “what will you tell your grandchildren?”, I retort, “I always travel with people who take photos so maybe I’ll ask them for their photos later”. There is no photographic record of the two most memorable moments in my life: when I won the bronze medal at International Mathematical Olympiad 2000, and when I received my diploma from MIT.

There are, however, a few photos taken by other people.

Photos taken during my undergraduate years on campus (credit: MIT Malaysian Students Association):


MIT fellas with officers from Malaysian Students Department, Washington DC. Standing from left: Chuan Seng (now Dr.), Prem, Bal, Shi Ling. Sitting from left: Ustaz Latip (MSD), Eng Sew (now Dr.), Dr. Zahratul Kamar (Director of MSD), Shien Jin (now Dr.) and Cik Noraini (MSD).

Where are you, guys? I miss you all šŸ˜‰

These are really down-to-earth brainiacs — I miss hanging out with them. When I was an undergraduate, the MITMASA was quite active (relative, of course, we were a small bunch after all). We managed to organize events almost every month, despite our busy schedule.


We love our country more when we’re far away. Surprisingly there were very little Malaysia-whacking taking place during our events. During our makan-makan, nobody really went around saying mahathir this, mahathir that, umno this, umno that. Except maybe Nathaniel Tan, who was a Harvard student at the time and now a well-known opposition activist.

Maybe we were tired of all the grumbling and complaining we read in Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, the two most important news sources for Malaysian “intelligentsia” abroad. Or maybe we just missed our country, and felt optimistic about our future?

Note the takraw ball, which I have no idea how to bounce more than 2 times.


Making a ketupat using color paper. I can’t remember whether this was before Raya or before International Fair. Number of tries: about 28. Number of finished ketupat: 0.


Shi Ling (left) taught me how to anyam ketupat, although I was not a good student. In exchange for her effort to teach me Malay culture I offered to teach her how to make tanglung hehehe…

Sorry can’t remember the name of the guy on the right. I am bad with names.

nasi lemak

Selling Nasi Lemak during the International Fair. We made enough for 50 plates, but only 45 plates were sold before all the food were finished. Where did the rest of the food go? Hint: it’s wearing blue.


Heating up after our Welcome BBQ for Michelle and her classmates. I only recall Eng Sew, Shi Ling and of course Irsal in yellow. Irsal used to be my meal ticket in Boston. I was a broke student living on meagre allowance. He was earning good money working at Intel, but he was not that big of a spender. So I would often call him on weekends to take me out for dinner, and we would go to expensive restaurants to splurge on lobster and other expensive treats. Everything on him, of course. Thanks a lot, Irsal!


During my farewell party (I was the only Malaysian to graduate that year). Michelle was the president of MITMASA at the time. We had loads of fun that night, makan followed by ballroom dancing followed by boardgames (we were nerds after all) and chitchat till morning.

I have about 5 more photos, maybe I’ll put them in another post.


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