Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My London Workshop

Smlm gi London sbb ada 4th Digital Music Research Network Workshop kat Queen Mary University, London. Bangun seawal 4 pg utk bersiap, bertolak ke stesen keretapi dari rumah pkl 5.30 pg, dan bergerak dari Plymouth Railway Station naik tren utk 5.53 pg. And it had snowed a little in the morning as well. Mmg sejuk Tuhan saja yg tahu.

Anyway, kesejukan terubat bila dpt tahu rupanya I booked tiket 1st Class. Woo hoo! Dpt seat sorg yg besar lg selesa, kerusi leather, ada window, table and power socket. Pastu dpt air juice / coffee / tea and muffins / shortbread / banana / yoghurt free. Coolness! Tp syg nya, dgn kerusi yg begitu selesa pon x bole nak tido. Slalunya bila travel sefamily, mmg konfem payah nak tido sbb gilir2 nak pegangkan Aisyah, tp haik, travel solo pon x leh tido jgk ke? Mungkin sbb dah jaga tu kan, payah la pulok mata nak lelap. So I ended up baca journal papers (terasa diri begitu smart and accomplished gitu, sbb semua businessmen pon pagi2 tu wat kerja or at least baca newspaper). Dah tamat dua papers, I switched to baca majalah pulok. Hehe.. jauh gabak London nih. How do you kill 4 hours?

First Class Coach



Spjg jalan dpt tgk la transition from the warmer part of UK (Plymouth) to the fields yg memutih dgn snow right after Exeter St Davids, and the creek that got frozen over, then ke snow setebal 5 inci di Reading. This is right before Reading, breathtaking kan snow dia!



After a 30-minutes delay because of the faulty network points, akhirnya sampai jg ke London Paddington Station. Dari situ, gi London Underground and amik Bakerloo Line pergi ke Oxford Circus. Then tukar lg amik Central Line pergi ke Mile End Station. Then jalan kaki ke Queen Mary. If you think the railway system kat Msia pon dah confusing, yg ni mmg beribu2 lemons lg pusing, but once you go over the map, it's pretty straightforward. But still, it was no place for kiddies as hundreds of people people were running, and rushing, and pushing and just literally shoving their ways into the tube, especially at peak times. A little harrowing, but I guess that's just how it is.







The workshop itself was brilliant! I won't bore my readers with the details, but suffice to say I have several new ideas and free digital musical tools I want to try out from the workshop. And my act of patiently 'Googling' speakers off the Internet has also paid well, coz it meant that I could I could put names to faces (and act all knowingly when we greeted each other over coffee and lunch ----> network jgn x network!). They would be surprised and go, 'Oh, have we met?' when I addressed them by their names and then spoke a little about their field (obvious I would HAVE to know them bcoz they are prominent people in the Digital Music world, and moi could only hope that one I will be like them too, but no, buat masa ni they have no idea who I was, and better remained that way la kot hehehe). Also, through the 'Effective Reading' method that I picked up, I managed to read quite quickly almost all recent papers of these speakers, so I got a gist of what their research was about, makanya idak le teman seperti katak di bawah tempurung sgt masa lecture or beramas mesra di dewan makan (I am well-chuffed about that hehe).

Sebenarnya, I purposely prepared myself with all this info, becoz last time, at a symposium in Bristol, I learnt this, ermmm the 'embarrassing' way. I had always been fascinated by Collins' work yg hampir mampir dgn my project. And on that day, I was early and sat there in the auditorium, waiting for the talk to start, and this young guy sat in the seat next to me. Kitaorg borak2, and I said my field was Concatenative Sound Synthesis. He got interested and probed more. Lps tu the talk started and after a few speakers went up, mamat yg kat sebelah tu bole bgn and present kat dpn. Alamaks, dia ni la Collins, tp muda nyaaaaa! Gila x sangka... Nasib baik la x ckp td, 'I am following closely the work of Collins'! Sejak itu, mmg study la muka-nama-research paper speakers sungguh2!

Ok terbabas jg kalo dah berckp psl research ni. Anyway, in conclusion nya, semua best, even keynote lecture pon besh. Aku balik lps Tea, dlm pkl 4 mcm tu sbb konon nak jalan2 London la. Plus, lps tea tu topic semua x relevan ngan aku, ada 3 talks je lagi, semua psl Multimedia Networks, etc, so aku pon amik keputusan utk challo la. Pusing2 jap kawasan Queen Mary utk amik2 gmbr, especially coz the snow was still on the ground. Best je jalan bunyi crunch crunch crunch (of ice and snow) underneath my boots, baru la rasa winter sebenar :)













London, I found, was a very cold place. Bkn sahaja sejuk, tp org nya jg, agak dingin. I'd heard this many, many times before, ingatkan stereotype je la, but it is kinda true. It seems like people here are always rushing around, certainly no place to raise a baby sbb mcm x baby-friendly je facilities dia. Pastuh students QMUL sendiri, hamboih, mcm ada sedkit ekk gitu (holier-than-thou attitude). But maybe bcoz diorg pengajur kan, so ramai student sendiri yg attented, and they kinda just stuck together, x mingle2. Patut la my ex-SV (SV masa MSc dulu, dia pernah wat PhD kat Imperial College, London), said that the 1st year dia wat keja dari rumah shj, x masuk lab, sbb rasa inferiority yg amat kuat. Kalo begini la student2 dia, mmg faham lah aku. Nasib baik la x wat PhD kat sini (nyaris dah isi borang dah!), mmg kiok la aku nervous breakdown agaknya. It made me missed Plymouth yg ulu itu, serius! (padahal windu Aisyah la tu masa tu). But yeah, after all that I kutuk-ed Plymouth, I think I'd rather stay here :)

(PS: Aku x de niat nak down kan students / warga Msia yg kat London ke apa ye, if anything aku salute mereka yg bole survive and study kat London. I'm just saying London is different than my Plymouth -- cheh dan2 tu ngaku 'my' Plymouth tu. X bole tahan).

Ok, sbb aku ada a few hours before my train to Plymouth arrives, aku pon berjalan la ke hulu ke hilir sorg2, gaya tourist gitu. Gi Trafalgar Square, gi Marble Arch, gi London Bridge. Lalu dpn London Dungeon, Madamme Tussauds, terus teringat zaman pergi satu family (my Dad, my Mom, my brothers and me a decade ago masa kitaorg still kanak2). Mahal la tiket2 dia, GBP21.45 sorg. Huh, x kuasa nak pergi lg. Lg pon semua tempat tu dah tutup coz it was 5 pm already at that time.

Rupanya giler bohsan ye jalan sorg2. Lebih bosan lg sbb tmpt2 ni dah pergi pon dulu2. Cuma Hubs and Aisyah je x sampai lg. Bila dah travel sendiri baru la appreciate effort my Dad bersungguh2 bawak kitaorg pusing London. Dulu kan ikut aje, satu hapa pon x kluar duit. Dah la tu, buat perangai masam and fed up je manjang (teenagers kan), walhal bapak aku tuh nak instilled some cultures dalam diri anak2 dia, bawak gi tempat bersejarah. Dah tua2 ni baru la faham what the hype was all about hehe. Mintak hampun Ayah! :P

Sampai2 London Bridge plak bridge nye tgh renovation, x de pon lampu2 indah di waktu malam. Bengang betul la. Penat je jalan kaki dari stesen tube. Semakin meluap2 la perasaan nak balik Plymouth aku tu. Mula teringat, bestnya kalo ada family skali jln2 kat London. Geli je, padahal baru sehari tggalkan diorg. Mula la rasa jauh nya aku travel. Mcm mana la nak gi conference seminggu summer nanti? Tsk. Ok ni gmbr2 kembara jalanan solo yg keboringan. Maaf terpaksa cam-whoring, sbb sendiri muka sendiri amik :P










Nak dijadikan cerita, on the way balik tu, mcm x cukup masa nak berkejar balik ke London Paddington, sbb org ramai, and asyik queue, plus ada lift rosak maka kena queue lg. Masa ni serius dah berdebar, baca2 doa and segala ayat2, sbb nya my train leaves at 7.03 pm, and at 6.50 pm masih dlm tube lg!

Sampai je London Paddington, terus lari all the way, all those flights of stairs, tolak abis pakcik2 tua, budak2 kecik apa semua (I'm not proud of this, tp terpaksa). Breathless, terbatuk2, and nyaris terkucil, akhirnya I found Platform 4 to Southwest and at 6.58 pm, Alhamdulillah, dah masuk dlm tren, tp di gerabak H. My gerabak was A, so terpaksa la berjalan a long way to my seat.

Ingatkan selesa mcm pg td, rupanya silap besar daaa! I forgot this was near Christmas, and keretapi penuh mcm haram! Ye, penumpang haram pon ramai, you would think that this train was in the 3rd world country okeh? Sbbnya bersepah2 and mcm tin sardin. Ramai rupanya Londoners dah start balik kampung. Mmg sohih lebih ramai penumpang drpd seats, sbbnya sampai ada yg sanggup duduk / berdiri / lepak depan toilet, dpn pintu kecemasan, etc. Dah la carry beg2 besar apa semua, dgn bags of shopping, etc. Imagine, dari Coach H ke Coach A, dah 20 minit keretapi berlepas pon I still was pushing my way through. Begitu sesak skali dkt aisle org berdiri2. Kecoh sgt. Yg confuse nak cari seats x jumpa2, sekali jumpa seat tp org lain dah duduk (kes salah tempat, ok dimaafkan), yg ada seat tp org lain dah duduk (kes org xde tiket berlagak ada tiket, so ada adegan rebut merebut sampai kondukter tren dtg).

Bila sampai at my seat, mmg ada mamat lain dah duduk. Ewahhh... enaknya dia duduk kat seat aku yg telah di reserve awal2 tuh. Ntah dia dah byr tiket ke belom pon x tau. Tp he got up and went somewhere else without much hassle, so I sat at my rightly seat. Penat gile, dgn tercungap2 lari x hilang lg. I shuddered at the thought that I might not have made it td. Kalo x kena tunggu lg sejam for the next train to Plymouth, and byr ltambah harga tiket lg GBP50. Syukur sgt2 Ya Allah!

I ate my burger and chip and sipped my Coke quietly (kat London byk kedai fastfood halal murah2) whilst reading one of Kinsella's books. Sedikit ralat sbb hajat di hati nak beli Krispy Kreme doughnuts utk Hubs and Aisyah (kat Plymouth x de), tp x sempat beli apa2 selain fride magnet aje. Tp still bersyukur la.

I arrived at 11.30 pm at home. Terus peluk cium rangkul gomol ngan Aisyah. Rindu beb! Itu la dia pengalaman aku ke London... Sekian.



8 comments:

ummiluqman said...

wahh..bestnya salji.. dulu buat A level kat coventry sempat juga main salji..best la pi jalan jalan..kat plymouth ada boxing day?.bole shoping sakan :)

Oyis said...

ummiluqman:
buat A Levels tahun bila ye? pernah ada member melayu buat A Levels kat Coventry, tahun 1997-99 mcm tu. I did my A Levels pon 1997-99, kat Bedfordshire :)

boxing day tgh ditunggu2, tp x tau nak beli apa la...

ummiluqman said...

buat A level tahun 1996-98 kat coventry technical college. tp buat degree kat malaysia hehe..

Azizul Azri Mustaffa said...

salam Oyis..saya dan wife pun ade area London semalam..just for a short vacation..we also went to the Trafalgar Square and London Bridge..xterserempak pula kita ye hehe..

Azizul Azri Mustaffa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oyis said...

ummiluqman:
ooo sama la kita.. saya lps buat A-Levels tu balik Msia, wat degree kat UPM. tahun tu ekonomi gawat teruk kan?

azizul:
wah.. ye ke? ntah2 dlm tube yg sama atau dah selisih bahu dah pon kot hehe... bestnya, saya jg yg lom sampai ke tanah seberang lg (europe). wife sihat ke? gi jln London ni byk kena berjalan kaki. saya sendiri pon nyaris melecet kaki hehe.. brp lama duk London? senang2 dtg la plymouth. mkn n tmpt tggal ditanggung beres :)

ummiluqman said...

yup betul tu thn tu gawat teruk, saya baik sambung kat uniten n kerja pun kat situ..

Oyis said...

ummiluqman:
oo ye ke.. A levels dulu amik subjek apa ye? sernot la plak mcm ala2 jejak kasih ni hehe