Bus and Public Transport


One thing that I love living in the state would be riding the bus and public transport. They are very efficient and punctual. Even if you miss a bus, there will usually another one around 5 to 10 minutes later. Far better from what I remember taking any public transportation back in Malaysia.

Additionally, I also stumbled into this awesome quote by Gustavo Petro, A Columbian economist, which says

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation.”

This is even better in a big city like NYC where you can literally survive without owning a car. I believe that Malaysia will soon achieve this kind of efficiency.


Amar Hasshim


Drink Sizes and Prices


Out of all the things that confused me living in the USA, the comparison between the size of soft drinks and their price wonders me the most. I mean a large size of Coke is $1, so does a medium one and a regular one. But then we have a small one that is more expensive than its big brothers and a very small one that can cost a fortune. It is like they try to encourage people to buy the big one. No wonder American people are “healthy”.

By Amar Hasshim



Since the allowance I received is not so much and the food sold got no variety and taste, the only option left is to cook. It might be a curse to some but for me, it is a blessing because I was “literally” born in the kitchen. One of my favorite hobbies nowadays is to try a new recipe or to create one altogether. One thing for sure, my housemate really hates me when I cook Japanese food and replace the sake and mirin with apple cider vinegar. It stinks! But in the end, they forgive me because the beef gyudon taste so good.

By Amar Hasshim



Since Minnesota is “blessed” with heavy snow, one of our fun weekend/winter break activities is to go snowboarding. Unfortunately, instead of sliding down, most of my time I’ll just fall and roll down. I blame my friend for not teaching me correctly. I mean his only instruction was just “now you stand…and slide” while he slided down the hill and left me alone to figure it all out.

By Amar Hasshim

Oh My English


This happens a lot to me, especially when I met someone older. I know that you are trying to be nice but sometimes, that type of compliment stemmed from the idea that only American and European can speak English fluently. English is my second language and I use it a lot up to a point that writing  and thinking in my mother tongue feel foreign to me.

By Amar Hasshim



It is the beginning of my fourth spring break today and I was kindly reminded by my first experience seeing snow for the first time. It took place at the end of 2012, my first year as an international student at UMN. I just finished my calculus class when the flakes started to fall. It blew my mind because I was born and grew up in Malaysia, the land of eternal summer. My Indian classmate and I ran around recording it with our phone like little kids. We don’t care what other people were thinking about us. But after a month, the fun was gone because there was so much of snow, it became a hindrance.

By Amar Hasshim, March 14th, 2016