Monday, October 19, 2009

Deepavali celebration with my Indian floormates

On Saturday, I was invited by my floormates to observe their brief Deepavali ceremony. Then i just decided to go.

I was actually very impressed how they set up their 'worship' place for that night in my student hall party room. The two god features were beautifully hand-drawn by one of my floormates. The decoration of the two lamps up there was also a nice probe.

They lit up the whole building with this small candle light, all the way from our 3rd floor to basement. It is like lighting up the guiding path to the worship place.

Materials prepared for worship ceremony

It is an easy-going process, with music, singing and clapping hands. Indians were in their traditional costume, and 3 Israelis were amongst them.

Party time

...and have fun with fireworks (is that what it is called?)

Finally, my photography art piece on the candles they lit on staircase for 4 floors. =)

在汉诺威的生活 Life in Hannover

妈说她要上网来看我的照片,从而探悉我的生活状况。我现在就住在一间学生宿舍,名叫Heidjerhof Studentenwohnheim。它距离我的实验室只有10分钟步程,3分钟脚车路程,价钱便宜和方便。我拥有一间大房间,那是一件非常愉快的事。我必须与同楼的5位房客共享厕所,浴室,和厨房,目前还过得去。早前浴室的下水道堵塞的问题已解决。我们房客都很有默契地,避开大家做饭时间,让各自拥有最大的空间舒适地使用厨房。目前的卫生情况也还过得去。

Mum said she wants to go online to look at my photos (with the brother's assistance), to check out my living conditions (thus i wrote in chinese first). Now i'm staying in a student hall accommodation, which is called 'Heidjerhof Studentenwohnheim. It is located within 10 minute walking distance to my lab, or 3 minute by bike. The rent is quite cheap and location-wise, it is very convenient (to get the transportation to the city centre). I have quite a big room... i never had this size of room for my own before (although it is not so big, compared to those i had stayed before in London, there is no match). The size of room alone, delighted me. However, i have to share the facilities such as toilet, bathroom, and kitchen with 5 other occupants on the same floor. So far it is still ok. The earlier problem our floor had, was the blockade in the sewage pipe in bathroom. But now it was already solved. My floormates are having a good consensus to avoid preparing meal at the same (if possible), so that each of us will have the maximum space for cooking and using the kitchen. The Indians most of the time eat quite late, a Chinese girl has her meal early. So far, the cleanliness in kitchen and elsewhere on my floor are still ok. I'm happy that it is quite unlike what my brother told me about his hallmate Indians in USA.


After i was quite settled down here in Hannover, soon i discover myself expanding my belongings in larger scale (also due to the restriction of the stuff i could bring over here from Malaysia, for my first arrival). I bought rice-cooker (many westerners are always puzzle why do we asian need this 'thing', i am sure), computer speaker sound system, printer, bicycle (where i obtained from my colleague's girlfriend's father who enjoys repairing bikes, and gives them to people who need them-- the one i had is Made in Germany...muahaha), water boiler and portable heater (winter's coming soon). Fortunately, my stipend comes early to my rescue... It is supposed to transfer to my account (Deutsche Bank) in the beginning of the month. It is a handsome sum of stipend (of course no taxation), allows me to spend at my disposal (on certain necessities).

I do find IKEA is a very good starting place for shopping to those who just moved into a new place and started new life. Just by walking one round, i already found many things i need, like cooking utensils: wok, pot, knife, spatula, plate and bowl. Other additional things i bought are lamp stand (which allows me to put my special white cool daylight bulb -- that thing you can never get it in Europe, i don't know why... but i feel more comfortable in that white light when reading and doing other activities) and a swirl office chair which let me sit comfortably in front of laptop, lay on my back and head.

我的印尼同事介绍我两间亚洲超市后,也一举解了我的乡愁(食物方面)。想象我最初的几天在这里都只是吃subway的。现在我几乎什么都有了- 米,面,亚洲人的酱料,冷冻鱼和虎虾,新鲜蔬菜,快速面,大碗,茶壶等等,差不多算是应有尽有了,让我爽。这些亚洲食品的价钱比伦敦的来得便宜。我近来几乎每天都下厨,不然我也不知要吃些什么好你们或许以为我一定会吃很多西餐,尤其是德国餐。我自从抵达至今都不算吃过了德国餐(如果街边卖的德国香肠和食堂里的食物都不算)。我一下厨就一定煮两餐两道菜(晚餐和隔天的午餐便当),因为煮给两个人份量比较划算。

My Indonesian colleague is very kind to show me two asian supermarkets, this effectively cure my homesick (on food). Imagine the first few days in Hannover, i ate only Subway sandwiches. Now i have almost everything i need -- rice, noodles, asian sauces, frozen fishes and tiger prawns, asian fresh vegetables, instant noodles, big bowl, teapot, etc. That's cool. The price here for these asian goodies is cheaper than in London.

These days i am almost cooking everyday, otherwise i don't know what else to eat outside... Maybe some of you think that i must have tasted a lot of western food, especially German food. But nope, since i arrive here, i haven't really enjoyed german food (if german sausage, and those food in canteen i eat once in awhile, not counted). Everytime i cook, i will cook two dishes and two portions for dinner and lunch the next day, thus i can save more money and time. The amount of time used for cooking one portion or two, is the same.

3个星期,我在实验室里都没有闲着。当中,我学习了不少新的实验技巧。之前的我从来没有做过任何有关动物的实验。在这里,我很常需要老鼠(mouse不是rat)来作实验对象,研究肠道沙门氏菌(Salmonella)的感染(就是那个常造成食物中毒的病菌)。我使用的病菌是已事先被弱化,所以应该不会对我人体有造成病害的风险(除非你把大量的病菌吞了)。在这3个星期里,我已懂得如何比较人道地杀死老鼠(用二氧化碳窒息他们),动手术拿取它的重要器官,比如小肠(small intestine/gut)(最重要的),肝脏(liver),脾脏(spleen)和小肠与肝脏之间的淋巴结(Mesenteric Lymph node)。我花了一些时间来辨认和技巧地取出这些器官。当然我也必须学会如何抓拿活生生的老鼠,如何定位它在我的手掌上(让他们的头无法转动来咬你)然后‘喂’他们病菌,感染他们。了解这些小动物的习性有助于我的实验。除此之外,我也学会如何准备显微镜实验样本,如何寻找器官位置然后拍摄好显微镜照。

The first 3 weeks, i did not relax in the lab. I learned quite a number of new experimental techniques/skills. Before this, i had never done any animal experiment (i'm talking about real experiment, not those during my high school time cutting live frog). Very frequently i need mice here for experiment, to carry out research on Salmonella infection on mice (yep, Salmonella is the one which quite often involved in food poisoning). But, don't worry, the one in lab i'm using is the attenuated version of Salmonella, will not post any risk to my body, supposedly (unless i swallow a huge amount of the bacteria in the tube).

During these 3 weeks, I learned how to kill a mouse humanely (by suffocating the mouse in a carbon dioxide filled bag... they are put to sleep first before they die), do an operation to remove important organ parts which concerns my research such as small intestine/gut, liver, spleen, and mesenteric lymph node. I spent sometime  trying to identify and recognise them, remember the location of these organs i need. Then i learned how to take out those parts skillfully (in a neat and clean way-- i still have to practise more to achieve this). Besides that, i also need to learn how to handle live mouse, fixing its position firmly in my palm so that their head can't turn (and thus they can't bite me) and 'feed' them with Salmonella intragastrically. Therefore, understanding their behaviour is to my benefits of research. In addition to this, i also picked up new method how to prepare very thinly sliced microscope specimen on a microscope slide, how to find the good view of organs and take  good microscopic images. These are microscopic skills which i do not have much exposure to during my 4 years of undergraduate and master studies.

Below are photos on my living conditions:

My room (first week)

我的房间 (第四星期)-- 加了旋转办公椅,打印机,电饭煲,等等

My room (4th week)-- spot the difference!
Addition: Swirl chair, printer, rice cooker, heater and etc.


That is a big Germany map on the wall, obtained from DAAD brochure.



Loving sweet memories of me and Von yi, hanging on the wall, so that i can see it everytime i pass through ^^ That is to remind myself to work hard, the happiness in future awaits us.

My bed, and the basin which is behind the cupboard.

我的幸运天使在此。我的good luck是由她传过来的。谢谢在大马远方的真正天使!^_^
Barry也在此,他会与我过圣诞节...然后他会与我一起漂洋过海去冰天雪地的地方与心爱的人过那温馨的佳节 =)
My Good Luck angel is here with me, she passes all the luck from my real angel in M'sia. Barry is also here. He will be following me to somewhere out there to share xmas moments with my loved ones.

The outlook of my student hall, and the place where i put my bike.


My second-hand bike, but looks quite new. The seat pad is quite high for german bike. Even i adjusted to the lowest position, it is still high.


You see, this is Made In Germany, no joke.


The corridor of my floor. My room is the first one on the left. There are 5 more tenants on this floor.

Common area on my floor, is also part of the kitchen.

厨房和用具 (对不起,手震动,用手机拍的)
Kitchen and utensils (sorry for blur image, taken by handphone camera with my shaky hand)

Lab office. Normally it was very crowded but not when i was taking this picture (they all left). My supervisor's group is not small.

Part of my lab. My working lab desk is at the back of this row.

我的实验要从他们的口腔注射病菌, 不需要红灯。

Mice experiment (not mine). These mice are waiting for my colleague to inject them with syringe from their tail. Red light is switched on, is to warm up the mice. Wait until their blood vessels are dilated , then it's time to take action.
My experiment usually require to feed the mice with bacteria from mouth, therefore red light is not needed.

与我要好的印尼同事Usri。他不好意思看镜头 。照片正中下端的那个小灰箱,是用来困着老鼠,还有个缝让老鼠尾巴露出。这样就很方便打针了。
My fellow Indonesian colleague Usri. Ok, he is not so easy with the camera.
The little grey box at the bottom centre of the picture, is used to trap a mouse. There is a slit in the middle of box to let its tail out. Therefore it is easier to inject.

彩虹出现在我实验室办公室外 ^^ 我真的想乘着那道彩虹往我思念的方向飞去。

Rainbow outside my lab office. How i wish rainbow as a gateway to teleport to place which i miss the most. You must enjoy the rain first then the rainbow.

Dinner for two, any takers?

There is a very creative idea to sell german sausage, on a main street in Hannover city centre. I'd twice bought the sausage from them.


谢谢你们的关心,我在这里很安好,生活得很舒适 =)

I'm regret to say that i have not really sightseeing around Hannover (although there are probably nothing really you must come to Hannover and see). If i do have pictures next time i will post it here in my blog.

Thanks for your concern, i'm fine here. My life is good in Hannover =)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


不知不觉我已在汉诺威第3个星期了,基本上生活也开始可以定下来了。也许以前在英国留学过的经验可以帮助我在这个一开始完全陌生的城市,展开新生活,能适应了。虽说语言环境很大不同,我会尽我的努力好好地融入他们,练好我的德语。我的直属学姐每天尝试对我练习几句德语,基本上我还听得懂(如果他们说慢些,和尽量用较简单的字样)。我同楼的屋友,有一个是越南人,也只会(一点点)德语,我们都沟通得很辛苦,因为我很难听懂他越南音的德语。还有我‘被逼’用德语与我宿舍的主管沟通--这里上了年纪的工作人员通常他们的英语都不行。办理任何官方的事务我都害怕他们不懂英语;我收到任何公函都是德文的。有时都懒得一字一句去读了,大概扫描一下,用我的有限德语去理解内容(最好不要叫我打电话回复他们)。还好我的银行deutsche bank和手机网络公司O2已走向国际了,至少还有专属讲英语的职员来服务我。


语言可以代表一个国家、民族的自信。语言的成熟度也可以反映出他们的思想的进步。惯用的生活语言可以塑造社会文化。我的哥哥常批评挑剔马来语的问题,就在于马来语拥有太多负面论述(negative connotation/statement),尤其是在俚语(peribahasa)(比如说:setinggi tupai lompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga)和日常生活的惯用语言(relek, lepak, senang/susah, cukup makan, etc)。我也多次与我哥对此辩论。我认为,这可以是非关语言(因为每个语言一定有负面论述存在于词汇和俚语里),但是主流正面进步的论述必须存在,进而带动和影响社会的价值观,从而改变文化。另一方面,我同意哥哥的看法,在于常把负面(不积极)论述挂在嘴边,甚至已潜移默化成为思想的一部分,一个民族是不会有太大的进步空间。太过容易自我满足,今朝有酒今朝醉,想吃免费午餐,抄捷径/找便宜却不肯脚踏实地地耕耘等等思想现象,或许我们在马来西亚都不会陌生。在生意合约上,我在政府部门打过工,不难看到常常上府来找吃的承包商徘徊在权势部门的门口等合约。在大学出路上,我也常听朋友说很多友族同胞在找工方面怠慢不急不慌,因为他们说他们毕业后总可以在政府部门里找到工。在政治上,总是有几方人马,上瘾玩数字游戏,喜欢玩弄手段抓青蛙,却又不积极做好基层组织,好好经营政党和干练党工,铺陈和宣扬政治理念。为何这些政治人物体现出他们短见的一面,而不从长计议放眼春秋大业,脚踏实地做好执政准备?另一方面在马来媒体上,他们却很狂热‘捍卫’马来人的权宜和‘正当’的生活方式,同时发表了很多似是而非,保守,抗拒改变的思想。我不明白为什么一定要用非友即敌,人种/种族角度来看待问题而模糊了理性价值观认知和万分阻扰理性讨论和辩论?这些都是我的困惑。