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Showing posts from 2008

31 Dec

hehe~~
Judging my the many brithday greetings I got on facebook...
I dont need to announce it to the whole world...
But then again, why not?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

Malaysians & Time

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If a Malaysian were to agree to a meeting/appointment/date at a certain time, you can almost always expect them to be late...
Thus the well-known term 'Malaysian Time' which is +1/+2 hours from the predetermined meeting time.

But the most important question in the whole wide world is...
How late will the person be?

I don't mind that people are late.
We are all human & sometimes we cant help it.
But I cannot accept someone giving you the idea that he/she will be there soon when that someone knows that he/she will not be able to honour the agreed meeting time for a long duration.
Even 30 mins qualifies as a long duration.

Besides appointments, some Malaysians also lie about being late when it comes to deadlines.
Even an office where you would expect efficiency & accountability can make you wait week after week with great expectations for more than a month.

All I need is a realistic assessment of the duration that I will have to wait.
Be it 2 hours or 1 month, I would…

Merry 2008 Christmas

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I'd like to wish all my avid readers, casual readers, occasional readers, stumblers & those who may never visit again a...
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I have only one thing to say today...
Christmas is a time to give thanks & remember one man...
taken from associatedcontent.com

Not this guy...

taken from tomatecru.net

But this cool dude!
in case you dont know, his name is Jesus or Isa.
Love as you would want to be loved this new year!
Have a good one!
=)

Rethink: Christmas

Watch this video FIRST.

Ever since I accepted Jesus & followed his teachings, I have often pondered the significance of all these "Christian" holidays.
They seem to be all about buying something for someone & spending money!

Thinking about it...
Instead of an item, let's give something that someone really needs.
Something simple that it is usually forgot.
Something that is somehow significant surprisingly.

Merry Christmas!
=)

Google Maps Extensively Covers Malaysia

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I was looking for directions to an unfamiliar place...
So I went on Google Maps like I have always done in New Zealand.

It was reliable to me in the white man's country & I expected it to provide me with a basic map of the general area.
Boy did I get a shock when I discovered that the map I received for a secluded location in Kuching was just as accurate & detailed as a map I would get for a street in New Zealand!

It was so accurate that all names are actual names & not English translations.
Lorong this, Jalan that, Taman this, Lebuhraya that & etc.
It is also so detailed that small lorongs, landmarks, LRT stations, schools & hospitals are even on the map!

And the best part is...
I could even get directions from one place to another!
Google Maps rocks!

To all Malaysians out there...
Now you got a reliable easy-to-use map free on the net!

Back Where It All Started

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taken from blogs.chron.com
After completing my tertiary education, here I am back where it all started.
Kuching, Sarawak my hometown & where I have spent the past 3 quarters of my life.
In the process of becoming a graduate, I have been taken to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & Wellington, New Zealand.
Within that 5.5 year process, I made holiday forays into New Zealand, Australia, Thailand & West Malaysia.
I have also made some lasting friends who will be comrades in the struggle to educate a reluctant generation.
In summary, I have had a very fulfilling time at the institute & at university.

Now, I am home and having a breather after a tough tough time back in Kuala Lumpur.
Where will I be working at next year?
I don't know. I don't even have a clue. It is not my decision.
I have nothing to do but wait for a letter from the government that contains the location of my teaching service.

I can try to pull cables... but why bother my parents even more?
I want to be indep…

Today Is Not The Same

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Today I woke up to a wonderful cool Wednesday morning
One where I hear the birds sing and the crickets chirp
I wake from the same bed in the same room, but I know
Today is not the same

I leave my room and walk towards the kitchen
Passing the empty rooms which were full of laughter
I'm used to being left behind, but I know
Today is not the same

My friends leave me for home because home is near
Every holiday I spend here, I spend alone
They are usually back in a week or two, but I know
Today is not the same

Intuition guides me to the balcony & the spectacle beyond
A panorama: the brightening sky, the yellow glow of the college, the green of the grounds
It has always been there for me to enjoy, but I know
Today is not the same

I have been shaped by the individuals & personalities here
And like Si Tenggang I have emerged with a strange knowledge
I have been very comfortable as a student, but I know
Today is not the same

I pack the same old belongings in the same old bags
The t…

I Just Quit Friendster

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Last night, I deleted my friendster account.

Dont get me wrong, I like friendster.
I loved how open it was & I used it as a primary means of sharing details about myself.
It is kind of like my personal online profile equipped with all sorts of useful or interesting details about me. My current location, my current thoughts, my latest pictures, my birthday, my education background & all sorts of other details about me.
It was also a good place for me to keep in touch with my friends. The comprehensive friendster groups, the birthday reminders, the smiles, the messaging & the testimonials all work well to help me keep in touch with friends who are near & far.
But I couldn't take the many stranger friend requests, the constant bulletin board spamming, the picture stealing & the impersonal testimonial images.

A good service has been legally abused.
Lonely people started adding strangers at random without first getting to know the person...
Naive people started rep…

Cohort 2 Farewell BBQ

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Only a week before, we were...
short of money...
running out of time...
jaded from 4 years of patience & sub-par treatment...
exhausted from a ineffective but veeery long course...
And with 2 failed attempts at organising a farewell dinner...
the cohort settled to not doing it completely.

As our time at this cream of the cream Malaysian institute moves into its twilight...
There was bitter bickering from several professional corners of the institute...
People who had no direct contact with us were criticising us for not having an annual dinner...
Saying that we were useless & not united...
Saying that we never contributed anything to the institute...
Saying that we should have one to appreciate our lecturers (who respected our decision not to)...
Saying that our juniors had a grand dinner every year with ball dancing & all that glitter...
It was getting out of hand.

That was when a few individuals of the Cohort gathered the leaders in the Cohort for a serious consideration…

A Warning To All Malaysian Bloggers

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To all you Malaysian bloggers with blogs that are available for public viewing, I have a grave warning for you.
Keep this in mind every time you want to write about something related to an organisation that is in a position to cause harm or inconvenience to you or your connections.

I have recently had to write a letter of apology for a post I wrote about my visit to a local award-winning school. It was a simple post to share my experience with my readers.
In that blog post, there was a very brief critique of their teaching techniques. I said that the teaching methods in this school was not that much different from other schools.

Several months after being published, the principal of the school got to read the critique & apparently became really angry about it.
Although she was not in a position to harm me, I visited the school as a student of my institute. If I do not take remedial action, my institute & the person who arranged the visit would receive a bad reputation.

Here is…

The Grades for My Degree

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Today, the grades of my cohort were posted up on the notice boards.

Here are mine:
Victoria University of Wellington
Bachelor of Education TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages)
Level: 2.1 (Second Class Upper)
Practicum: Merit (Cemerlang)

I'm happy with what I got!
And I know I didn't do it all by myself so...

taken from blog.nasscom.in
Firstly, I'd like to thank my God who has granted me favour & turned various circumstances around to grant me an advantage.
My success is a testimony of your love.
I'd like to thank my father who made me sign up for this "go-overseas-for-free" course.
I'd like to thank my mother who supported me all the way.

I'd like to thank the men of Cohort 2.
We helped each other through many tough times & had many one-night stands together rushing to complete assignments.
You are my family not in blood but in spirit.
Esp you, the monkeys!

I'd like to thank the ladies of Cohort 2.
Thanks for giving me…

Carnal Limits of an Honourable Man

After going through 5 strenuous days of a pre-service patriotism camp for government servants, I have to say that I am quite impressed!
I have gained a good understanding of the constitution & foundation of our country.
I hate history but I am glad that I learned a bit of it because those who do not know history are prone to letting history repeat itself.
I dont want to let bad history repeat itself...
However, I am not here to comment on the content or implementation of the camp.

I am here to comment on something I observed in a man.
I have observed a shameless display of carnal desire in one of the camp facilitators.
This caused me to look into myself & wonder...
Will I be like him in the future?

I dont know about other men but I am a man with needs...
This need surfaced during puberty & grew significantly as a developed into a man.
At this moment, I am a humble uncorrupted individual.
Therefore, I carry myself with honour & self-control.
But a few years down the road, once I hav…

Fleas At Home

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I have been offline for most of last week and have not been updating my blog because I have been trying to avoid certain areas of my house.
Why?
Because there is a flea infestation that I am still trying to adapt to.
Best part is... the most badly affected area is the carpeted area where my internet connection is.

Bring chair to aforementioned carpeted area.
Sit down for 60 seconds with both feet firmly planted on ground.
Look away from computer monitor & focus on the veiny areas of foot.
Look for suspicious tiny black dots on yellow skin.
Open eyes wide in surprise & horror.
Use fingers to, one by one, pluck the 5 or 6 black dots discovered.
Kill each flea by rolling between fingers HARD, stabbing with nails HARD or swallowing HARD.

Best way to kill fleas with your hands is by rolling them between two fingernails.
That is... if you get to hold those little jumpy b*****ds long enough to roll over them.
Fueled by the itch for knowledge on how to end my scratching sprees...
Here…

Must Haves In My Future House

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At the end of this year, I will finish my studies & move out of the hostel.
Next year, I will be teaching in a secondary school somewhere in Malaysia.
(Where exactly? I wont be informed until the end of December. This is will definitely cause logistic & emotional anxiety because school starts on the first week of January.)

I really cant wait to get a place to call home.
A place that I know I will be at for at least the next few years.
And I dont mind flatting or moving in with close trustworthy friends.
But what will I have in my house?

Dreaming about the fridge got me thinking about what else I must have in my house...
Well... Here is my wishlist!
=)

1. Fridge


Picture taken from theratandmouse.co.uk
As mentioned in the previous post, I will never be without a fridge...
It opens the door to too many sinful culinary pleasures to give up!
I dont mind sharing a fridge with the other occupants as long as I have one to use!

2. Xbox 360

Electronic entertainment is not something new.
So…

The Something Missing In My Life

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Dont get me wrong...
I'm happy with my life...
I'm happy with my love life...
I'm happy with my studies...
I am generally a very satisfied person...

But when I think about it...
My life is far from perfect...
There is always that something missing...
It bugs me when I wake up in the morning...
It bugs me when I have my coffee in the afternoons...
It bugs me when I make my bed at night...

I miss making myself breakfast with all the bacon, sausages & eggs...
I miss the raw & wet taste of fresh lettuce cleaned, cut & stuffed into a ham sandwich...
I miss the lazy weekends when I just grabbed any leftover produce in the fridge & put it all into a pot of yummy steamy broth or stew...
I miss the feeling of cold full cream milk massaging its way down my throat...

All these dreams & desires can never be satiated where I live at now... It is not allowed...
But if only I had that one thing required to materialise my great gastronomic fantasy...
Oh, how happily fa…

I Am 'Selebriti Kesayangan' Someone

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For the past few days my blog has been receiving a lot of traffic from a Malaysian online forum, Cari Forum.
This is very peculiar because traffic was quite substantial for a website that I have no connections with.
So I checked it out.

This is what I found:
On Friday, 7 October 2008 (last week) at 05:02PM, someone posted a picture from my blog onto Cari Forum.
I published the picture on my blog in 2006 under 'My First Raya In Wellington'.
The picture was taken in 2006 during the Hari Raya open-house of the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand.
The title of the thread on Cari Forum is 'Foto Difoto Terfoto Memoto' with the subtitile 'Thread Foto Selebriti Kesayangan Anda'.

This is the picture:

With me in this picture is Liz.
Apparently someone out in cyberspace thinks that either Liz or me or both of us are celebrities.
hahahaha~~
This is hilarious!
Thanks for the compliment, dude!

To Girls Who Want To 'Make Friends' With Men

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Just last week I experienced the shameful attempt of ah beng in pursuing a 'lady'.
Today, I saw a reversal of roles.
My Indian housemate, Guna, has been harassed by the sister of an Indian student from the school he did his practicum at.
She has been sending him loads of sms, making loads of intentional missed calls & actual calls.
This has been going on for quite some time already.
Guna has been able to ignoring her even though she is persistent in her demand for affection.
I admire his patience.

Today, her actions got on my nerves.
I was trying to relax & watch a really good movie in my quiet room with my friends.
Everything was good until it was rudely interrupted by the ringing of a phone. Guna's.
It was her. Another one of her intentional missed calls.
The silence after that was a welcome one which was gratefully used to enjoy the movie.
But she miss called again.
And again. And again. And again.
I was pissed.

Soon her rude interruptions turned into an actual …

To All The Little Boys Wanting To 'Make Friends' With Girls

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This is a hand phone.
Man's best & worst tool.
To all the little boys (or even some men) out there who want to make friends with girls or women:
DON'T DO IT THROUGH SMS!!
It is utter disrespect to the lady!!
SMS is such a cheap sleazy way to make a first impression!
If you want to make a friend & cannot do it face to face, at least have the courtesy or balls to call the lady & be your honest self.

When you do call, you dont need any smart or clever lines to impress the girl...
Just prepare a few topics that could be of mutual interest.
A good conversation or honest discussion is more than good enough!
The girl evaluates you through the honesty you put into the conversation...
She needs to know that she can trust you before she gives you anything!

If she says that she doesnt want to talk, remember to be POLITE.
If she says no to a date with you, remember to also be POLITE.
Say that you understand & you appreciate her answering the call.
Then, say thank you & w…

The Impartial Writer: Fact or Myth?

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A Well-Known Kazak Reporter
Today you will find many news agencies claiming to be fair & impartial in their presentation of news.
There are also many bloggers who claim to be pragmatic & impartial.
I consider myself one of those so called "impartial" writers but, upon honest inspection, I find that my writing eventually pushes my ideals...
How unimpartial!

So is it possible for a writer to be impartial?
I spent some time on the toilet bowl considering the possibility of an impartial writer...
This is what came out...

Consider this situation.
Side A is in conflict with Side B.
In this situation, the writer has several choices to make in his portrayal of this conflict.
He can either choose to side with A or side with B.
He can even side with both or condemn both!
Alternatively, he can choose to be neutral and narrate the situation as it is.

Let us now consider how neutral a writer can be when narrating a situation.
Covering of the strengths of A, no matter now neutrall…

Farewell Goodies From SMK Puteri Titiwangsa

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During my last days in SMK Putri Titiwangsa, both the students & teachers expressed their appreciation towards my colleagues & I.
They blessed us with gifts & entertained us with farewell parties!
I would like to acknowledge these kind people here on my blog.

My class, 1 Maju, threw me & my colleagues an awesome party with water balloons and lots of junk food.
I have been entertaining them for 12 weeks so it is fair for them to entertain me at least once...

Aimi's class, 1 Jaya, also threw a party for us the next day...
they wanted to compete with 1 Maju...
hahaha~~
It was good, but I preferred the party by 1 Maju.
The party by 1 Maju was better organised & the students were really sporting.

I received cards from May Wan, Chin LiYing, Sarah Aiysha & The Lower 6 Students.
Thanks for your encouraging words!
It has brought a smile to my face!
=)

I received gifts from SinYan (1 Maju), Vanessa (1 Maju) & Nur Najuah (4ERT).
Thanks for your gifts!
I love them…

Post-Mortem: 1 Maju Group Blog Project

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picture taken from picasaweb.google.com
As many of you would know, I have just finished my practicum at a Malaysian Secondary School.
In this school, I had the opportunity to teach a highly motivated & good proficiency class.
With this class, I have experimented with a writing activity.
This writing activity involves getting the students to work in groups to practice their writing skills on blogs.
I called this experiment: 1 Maju Group Blog Project
I mentioned this in a previous post: My Students Blog Too!

Yesterday, I completed a post-mortem on the experiment.
In this report, I evaluated the advantages and limitations of implementing a group blog writing activity in a Malaysian Secondary School classroom.
The full report can be found at the 1 Maju Group Blog Project Website
I will put up a summary here.

The advantages I observed were:
- Positive Group Work
- Motivating
- Language Enrichment

The disadvantages I observed were:
- Individual Focus Lacking
- Sleeping Partners & Pa…

I've Grown Acustomed To Her Face

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It has finally come to an end.
My 12-week practicum at SMK Puteri Titiwangsa.
The overall experience has been really good & this school has given me the extra drive to do my best in my future teaching profession.
hmmm~~~ Which gets me thinking...
should I start praying to be posted at a girls' school next year?
Anyway, SMK PT is a wonderful school to begin your teaching journey in.
The students do not have any major discipline issues & the general population is very welcoming towards outsiders like myself.
Furthermore, the admin staff has a very good working relationship with the teaching staff.
This means that anything a teacher needs for his students will always be provided for swiftly.
I guess one of the main factors for the excellence in this school is the humble, friendly & shrewd principal, Datin Rokiah.
Just as I have begun to settle in, I am forced to leave this school...
And this, with a heavy heart...

taken from en.wikipedia.org
Just like Henry Higgins in My Fai…

What I Know About Relationships

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taken from inmagine.com
A few months ago, I was given a task by a friend to write for an online magazine.
The topic was a letter written to a younger me.
At that moment of life, I was pondering upon what it really means to be with a woman & what is she in a man's life.
Here is my letter to a younger me...
~~~~

Dear Younger Me,

I know exactly how you feel. I understand your needs. I was curious like you were. I watched the same movies and read the same novels. I know that you like girls, keep it that way. They require a lot of work but everything you put into her comes back multiple folds. She is the perfect investment. Invest in her and you will never end up with a loss!

But how do you choose? Remember to choose only one. I know you are curious about other women but honestly speaking, one woman is more fulfilling than many women. When one woman decides to give you her all, it is better than any gift you can ever imagine. Definitely better than what the many women can give you.…

The High Competency Award

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taken from nywcc.org
As many of you will already know, I am a teacher trainee currently undergoing practicum.
Every teacher trainee in practicum will have to be supervised by a lecturer.
These supervisors will surprise teacher trainees once in a while with visits to check on the trainee & observe his/her lessons.
Near the end of practicum, supervisors can nominate any teacher trainee they think deserves recognition for being outstanding in their teaching.

Soon, a team of secondary observers will be assembled & appointed by the practicum committee of the university.
They will be given the task of scrutinising every nominated trainee to determine whether he/she deserves the 'high-competency' grade.
They meet the trainee, talk to him/her about his/her thoughts on teaching, read his/her lesson plans+reflection+portfolio & they will also observe one of his/her lessons.
If trainees are able to impress during the tough reevaluation, their names will be recorded in the exc…

End of 2 Week Fast

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taken from science.nationalgeographic.com
After breaking fast at 7.14pm yesterday, I could proudly say that I have completed 14 days of solid food fasting.
However, I shamefully regret that I have to end the fast.
I have been losing body mass since I started the fast.
Even though I think the majority of what was lost consisted of fat, I should stop before I lose more than I can gain back.
I will be taking part in a pageant in November & casting for some TVCs soon so I will need to look & feel my best.

This 14 day fast is the longest time I have ever fasted in succession & also my first fast in 3-4 years!
After completing 14 days, I have found the fast to be very beneficial to my lifestyle & wellbeing.
I think I will continue to enjoy the benefits long after my fast.

Being hungry for the whole day has helped me appreciate food more.
I started savouring each bite & enjoying my food more.
Even the most tasteless & plain of foods can provide great satisfaction.

I h…

Online Social Networking: A Teacher's Bane

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Children nowadays are more privileged & are very active online.
As some of you have noticed, many students from my school read my blog.
I have no qualms about students reading my blog, commenting on what I have written & creating a link on their blogs to mine.

However, I do have a problem with one thing that they do online...
Requesting to be added to their friends list on a social networking website.
This happens to me all the time on friendster.
I mentioned this issue in a previous post: The Professional Divide.
Since then, much has changed & the situation has now escalated!
I am amazed at the throng of requests that I have been receiving!

I am mainly displeased at the manner in which they make the request.
A rare few would send me a message with the request & ask me nicely.
These people make me really happy and they seem to honestly want to make a new friend.
However, too large a majority of students plainly send only the request.
These people are rejected immediat…

Handling Vomit In A Classroom

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A student puked in one of my relief classes today.
The best part is I had to teach the class how to clean it up.
Here's the story...
~~~

It happened when I was reliving a Form 1 Moral class.
I was busy with my work while a group of students were laughing & joking with each other.
One of them paused to talk a long drink of water.
But before she could finish, her friends told another joke!
She laughed with a chunk of water in her mouth & choked on the water.
The result was a gag effect & semi-digested lunch on the floor.

Initially, I ignored the sound of splashing fluids.
However, I grew curious when the fluids didn’t stop flowing!
I thought to myself, "that doesn’t sound like a mouth of water."
I looked up to find a red-faced girl with vomit all over the floor & especially on her pinafore.
All her friends were just staring at her. Unsure of what to do.
They were staring for a long... long time...

"Does anyone have tissue?" I asked.
Their eyes sl…

What Fasting Does To The Body

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taken from visionmagazine.com
Fasting is not easy...
All through the day, you have an uncomfortable stomach ache & a constant desire for your favourite foods...

This pain & hunger was driving me nuts!
I HAD TO KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING TO MY BODY!!
So, I did some internet research.

I found these sites most useful:
Fasting - Wikipedia.org (2008)
The Health Benefits of Fasting - Carol, W. (2002)

And let me share what I have discovered from my research...
~~~

I found out that fasting technically begins when the body uses its stored energy reserves.
This is usually 12hrs after the last meal.
Your body will break down: first the food in stomach, glycogen in liver, glycogen in muscles, ketones in fat, protein in muscles and finally the protein in organs.
However, once the body starts using protein stores (from muscles & organs), a person is technically starving (BAD!!).

Cons of Fasting
I tried to look for the detrimental effects of fasting but there are none significant enough to justi…

koko' Attempts the Ramadan!

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picture taken from flickriver.com

The 1st of September marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan for this year.
Ramadan was the month during which Prophet Muhammad received the first of the Koran's revelations. Therefore, it has been ordained as the holy month of fasting for all adults of the Islamic faith to cultivate piety. (Al-Baqara 2:185)
The fast begins each day at the break of dawn and ends at sunset.
During the fast, Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink, or smoke.

During the month of Ramadan, koko' is also going to attempt a fast.
Just like my Muslim friends, I will have my fast from dawn until dusk which is around 6am - 7.30pm every day.
However, there is one element I will not go without: water.
Unlike the Muslims who fast both solids and fluids, I will only fast solids because my body is not accustomed to fasting.
I dont want my body to break down because I overdid my fasting.
The purpose of my fast: detox & spiritual awakening.

Let's see how long I can las…