Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Week's Journal (Oct/27 - Nov/2 2008)

There are quite a bit of things happened this week and I think they are worth putting in this blog.

Job Fair at Irvine

On Monday October 27th, I went to job fair in Irvine. I was hoping to find a few employers to get some interview for my CPT placement. It was a little disappointing though because there were not many companies there. wasn't so successful to attract them.

Job Fair at LA & The Indonesian Restaurant

Tuesday October 28th, I went to another job fair in Los Angeles. On the way I had to go to a Staples center to print some résumés. Near that Staples center I found this Indonesian restaurant:

It was my first time eating southeastern dish close enough to Malay dish since February this year. I was so happy that I think I want to help them promoting their restaurant. I feel that they are serious with their business since they have a website. This is their address, phone number, the website and Google Map location:

Indonesian Food Warung Pojok,
13113 Harbor Blvd.,
Garden Grove, CA 92843

And this is another picture of me, Ms. Eriza the manager, and an uncle who I suppose is the owner of the restaurant.

Now about the job fair. The one in LA was better than Irvine. I managed to get some numbers and promises. I even queued up a long line to talk to a representative from UCLA. It turns up there are quite a number of openings match my skill in UCLA. More than in most companies I already applied with failures.

The two job fairs didn't turn up like I expected. But I learned something. Compared to recruiters, direct companies are more open to the kind of work authorization I have. Almost all recruiters turned me down once they heard that I only have F1 visa. But those non-recruiter companies, they just asked "would you be able to prove that you are allowed to work in US if you are hired"?

The First Distance Mid Term

Saturday November 1st, I had my first midterm for my first distance education course, Distributed Computing, in Riverside. It was a long round trip drive of about 100 miles just for the test. The question was on JSP, servlet, remote method call, etc. I answered all questions and hoping to get most of them correct.

While driving back from the test I realized I saw rain for the second time in California. The first one was during the Lakewood open house. That how dry California is. But, there was another significant rain on the election day November 4th.

The Malaysian Restaurant

Sunday November 2nd, I still had the car I rent for the midterm. When I was in the Indonesian restaurant, I learned that there is a Malaysian restaurant, named Yazmin, in Alhambra, Los Angeles CO. I Googled it, found it, then I drove to LA late that day and arrived on time for dinner to go:

I'm helping this restaurant's business too by providing you, my visitor, with their location and contact should you come to LA:

Yazmin Malaysian Restaurant,
27 E. Main St.,
Alhambra, CA 91801

And this is a picture of me and Mr. Lee, the restaurant owner. There is a picture of Pak Lah in the restaurant in his visit to LA.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The First Aidil Fitri

My journey in "The Promised Land" started more than half year ago in February 2008 when I started my journey to Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, as a Compro student for February 2008 intake. I should have written this journal by that time but I didn't have time. Anyway I think it is good to start the journal in this blessed month of Syawal 1430. After all, Aidil Fitri is the chief of the days in a year. I'll do flashback to write my stories about my life in Fairfield, Iowa, when time comes.

It was Syawal 5th 1430, equivalent to October 5th 2008, just before dusk, I was with a few Malaysian students here in Southern California and a few officials from Malaysian Student Department, Los Angeles. The place is called Rosemead, perhaps around 5 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It was Aidil Fitri gathering organized by MSD.

The busiest hours had passed, so I'm left with a few that came late. It was good, though, because I think if I came during peak hours, I won't be able to chat closely with Mdm Hamidah Abd Karim, the Education Vice-Consul of MSD LA - the lady standing in the picture. Sitting in front of her was Omar, from USC, and another student was Nazmi whose head was blocked by Mr David, a local at the housing area. Omar and Nazmi happens to be Kelantanese. Coincidence?

Another photo of me, Omar and Mdm. Hamidah...

The day before at Lakewood

There was another Aidil Fitri celebration the day before at Lakewood, near Long Beach and nearer to my place, Garden Grove. This was organized by MIFNA (Malaysian Islamic Foundation of North America). There were more and tastier food.

There were more people too. Not only Malays, but also non-Muslim Malaysians. Here's another picture of people I meet. There are some non-Malaysians including invited VIPs.

The actual 1st of Syawal

On the actual Syawal 1st (October 1st), I took my chance to do the Aidil Fitri prayer in Los Angeles because there is almost no Malaysian other than me in Garden Grove area. I went to Los Angeles Convention Center in my baju Melayu, hoping if someone from Malaysia recognize the attire would greet me for Aidil Fitri. But obviously there was no Malaysian there too. I only meet an Indonesian couple.

The journey was: I left home at around 4.30am, took the first OCTA bus to Long Beach, then took the MetroRail Blue Line to Los Angeles. I was just on time to join the prayer at 7.30am; luckily the Blue Line stops close enough to the Convention Center. I performed Subuh on the train!!! Take a look at some pictures at the Convention Center. Los Angeles mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, gave a speech after the khutbah.

And the picture after...


Monday, September 1, 2008

The Life Story of Muhazam in the West

My life in the USA started here in Fairfield, Iowa. I arrived at the campus of Maharishi University of Management (MUM) at around 9pm local time February 7th 2008, fetched by an Ethiopian MBA Accounting student, Henok, from the Mt. Pleasent Amtrak Station.

I lived in the campus, in that small city of Fairfield, until September 15th 2008 when I checked out from the campus and headed to Galesburg, Illinois, to the very same Amtrak station where I first arrived in Illinois. I headed to California for job search as required by the master program I enrolled in MUM, Compro.

Behind me in the picture is the Golden Dome, a symbol of Transcendental Meditation (TM) Movement.