Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Okay, I know it is a tad too early for this and this music video is a little old but.......

Happy Midautumn Festival, everyone!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Graduation memories

Well, it depends on which aspect of 'life' you are directing this question at. If you are asking about the moments directly after the graduation ceremony, then it is more or less standard practice to do most of the following:

With your clumsy graduation robe and bouquets of flowers, you run around the ceremony grounds chasing after lecturers and 'important-looking-people' to take photos with them. In doing so, your friends chase after you to take photos with you.

Your family members would be on a photo-shooting spree, candidly snapping your every movement and expression. Then, depending on whether your family is the portrait kind of family, you would proceed to take professional family portraits that would cost you the sky.

You would then have a celebratory meal with your family. Perhaps, another meal with friends.

Then, the most enjoyable (and painful) part - the after party.

I had the privilege to relive all these happy moments yesterday when Han Wei graduated with his degree.

It was so delightful to have been there to witness the glowing pride of his family members. It was great to see the old DLC guys, too - Daniel,

Wei Foo

and Albert.

It was also eye-opening to see how drunk Han Wei was at night.

The 5/10 finger game and a free-flow of beer DO NOT go together.

Man, the amount of alcohol guzzled down at the rate they were going last night, we were lucky not everyone became as knocked out as he was. Wei Foo and Susan had a challenge going on, too, whereby if Foo got drunk first, he would have to make out with a guy and vice versa.

I, on the other hand, had a very sober night. So sober that I had to drive out to buy some Macca for supper, as I was starving!

Oh, and if after the drinks you still do not feel like sleeping, there would normally be another round of drinking at home. Either that or cards. For us (Wei Foo, Daniel, Susan and myself), we played Big 2. Well, Susan changed it to Strip Big 2 so the two boys went to their rooms to put on as many things as they could. It was hilarious! Susan had three of Foo's sweaters on while Daniel put two on, as well as socks and shoes!

It was great hanging out with them - reminded me of the carefree times in college all those years ago, which were filled with plenty of laughter. Foo insisted on walking us to the junction (so he could' offer' himself to the dogs first to 'protect' us from rabies). Still sweet, nevertheless.

The most exciting part of the night would have to be the part where I could not let myself in to my own room. Not funny. I kept swiping the card to no reaction from the door! It was so humiliating to call the RA on duty at four-freaking-A.M. to open my door for me! Even she had to try for 5 minutes before the door could read her card...

It sure was a long day. A long day of robes, drinks, cards and fish tofu.

So, someone please tell me why is it that I still woke up at 8 this morning!?!?!?!?!?!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back in college

Don't think I've ever mentioned to many of you guys that I spent my first 18 months Down Under in a residential college. No? Okay, let me briefly go through my time here..

It was in the month of July, 2003 that I moved into Dunmore Lang College as a resident student. My room, 437, was situated up in what they termed the Nunnery, as it was an all-girls floor. I had a sizable room, one that was bigger than normal rooms as it was in the corner and was actually meant for resident tutors. I had a view of the new wing and would poke my head out of the window every time I spotted a familiar face walk past.

I made many friends during my stay in college. Most of them were - no surprise here - Malaysians. However, they were from various parts of Malaysia and the majority of them were from up north. Hence, my understanding of Hokkien improved while we enjoyed our time teaching Manglish to other non-Malaysian friends.

One girl I was particularly close to was Jennie from Hong Kong. We shared the same wall for a year and I always had free karaoke sessions due to the thin walls! Sometimes, I had to knock the wall to indicate to her to keep her singing down! Haha, it was great having her around as she would come and check on me once in a while to see what I was doing, go for meals together with me or just for nothing. She learnt quite a few Hokkien and Malay words and she even sounded Malaysian sometimes!

Daniel was a fellow Malaysian from Sungai Petani I was comfy with, too. I used to head over to his room in the evenings to watch movies, to chat, to grumble or just to do nothing. Sometimes, he would ask me to help him with his assignments, which I still don't understand how I managed to as he was an actuarial student while I, an early childhood one. If he had classes in the afternoon, he would come over to my room just to check on me. I remember a few times when I was napping, he would pull the covers down slightly so my head would not be totally covered. He also checked on me whenever he knew that I was not feeling well.

Good memories, definitely. The nights when the drunk Dungeon boys would run around the whole college knocking on everybody's doors, the craziness of Conception Day, the camaraderie of the students, the feeling of belonging to a group of students.

I am now back here. Not as a student, but as a guest. I am now in a Corporate Ensuite in the new wing, which is more or less like a hotel room on its own. Well, motel la, not hotel la. Unlike before when we used the communal bathroom, I now have my own. I even have my own fridge and television, luxuries we students were allowed only after our 2nd year. I think the sound-proofing over in the new wing is much better, as I did not hear anything throughout the entire night. Either that or most of the students have moved out for the holidays or I was too tired to notice.

New or old wing, it feels good to be back. It feels a little weird, though, as although there is a feeling of familiarity, there is also a sense of novelty. The reception is now in the Almgren Centre, no longer in the old wing. We now do not need to pre-pay for internet access - everything is wireless now. I wonder if the food is still the same, though.

I will take pictures soon so make sure you keep an eye out for them in Facebook!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random #1

to stay
to go

shoulds and should nots

what will happen
no one knows
so step up
take the blows

your life
your say
your take
play it your way

what difference is there
if it is full of sorrow

life to the fullest
in all its truth
really is made real
by one person - you

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kindness is still here

By Petra Gimbad

I've been taking the bus from Brickfields to make my way home. For those not in the know, it's a predominantly Indian area located in Kuala Lumpur. I love it for its vegetarian food, temples, courageous Catholic priests and old buildings and trees.

It's also a haven for this budding photographer. My photography skills are seriously of shit quality. Snap anything in Brickfields, however, and you're bound to take something good. The last two days I've been zooming in on this wizened Chinese man (a contrast against the district's mainly Indian population) who rummages through garbage for aluminium cans and bottles to sell for income.

Yesterday he was alone. Today he had a friend, which may explain why he carried twice as much, in plastic bags.

Tonight I took the bus home and was touched by four acts of kindness.

The first: a blind man was helped onto the bus by a woman whom I initially took to be his niece. I realised she wasn't when he sat alone.

The second: I sat beside the man and asked where he was going so that I could press the bell when it came to his destination. The woman beside me, smiling, said not to worry - they were getting off at the same stop.

The blind man was Chinese. The woman who looked after him was Malay.

The third: an old woman - you know the kind, skinny and really elderly - she dropped her bags. She tried to pick them up as the bus swung and almost rammed into the door. A young girl grabbed her so she didn't fall.

The woman was Chinese. The young girl was Malay or one of the illegal immigrants you see around - I suspect Myanmarese or Indonesian.

The fourth: the bus stopped at a location I didn't recognise. It was not a bus stop and I wondered why. Then I realised: it was smack in front of a flight of stairs leading down to an impoverished group of flats. The bus driver, bless him, stopped where it was secure for its residents to climb down and make their way home.

I was touched. This has been a good night, and to be able to see these things, I feel truly blessed.

PS: It struck for a moment that had I stayed to do law, I may have never taken the bus. I would be in New Zealand or I'll be taking taxis or driving. Now that I have the time and my pocket money is rather limited, the 45 minute wait for the bus it is.

But as you can see, it is so, so, so, much well worth the wait. xx

Monday, September 07, 2009

Trying to settle in

Today is my 4th day back in Sydney. My take so far on things around here: nothing much has changed. Oh, well, maybe one or two buildings have disappeared la. Let's see if I can list some of them here...

> The Maccas at Darling Harbour has relocated.
> The beer factory opposite UTS has since been torn down.
> Shalom has opened a branch on Sussex Street. The Shalom in Broadway has upgraded.
> QVB went through refurbishments. They now have a glass roof that allows more natural light into the building, thus making the place feel wider.
> Macquarie University Station is now OPEN!
> There is this green bus called the CBD Shuttle that allows commuters to travel for FREE in the city.
> Oh, we MUST travel with a TravelTen during office hours.
> Michele's Pattisserie in Galleries Victoria is no longer Michele's. It is now a cafe called Couch.
> Mamak has expanded! They took over the shop next door and yet the queue is still as long!
> Jenny shifted the furniture in her room around to accommodate more stuff.

But it feels good to be back. Could not help smiling to myself while I was walking from Central, through the park, along the busy George Street to Jenny's place. Ah, of course, it was also the people I met up with that made it all the more worthwhile. So far, here's what I have done:

> Had brunch with Jenny at Pancakes on the Rock. Browsed through the flea market, as well, and got to know Yeak Ping Lian's sister who was manning her stall there.
> Walked all the way back from Circular Quay to Chinatown.
> Had dinner at Kura (yes, I finally get to eat my egg udon and yummy takoyaki!) with Angeline, Jenny, Diane and Melvin. Dessert was had at Lindt's Cafe over in Darling Harbour.
> Spent the night gossiping and updating each other at Jenny's.
> Went for yumcha (in this case, it was HK style yumcha = dimsum) at Palace Restaurant with Angeline and Chee Sing.
> Spent time chattering at Angeline's place until it was time to meet up with Edison at Fitzy's Cafe.
> Walked to the Quadrant and had dinner at Shalom with Edison, Jenny, Chee Sing, Angeline and Jia Lin, Edison's housemate and also Jenny's future neighbour.
> Did more walking from Broadway all the way back to Jenny's place.

I think I have still not converted back to Aussie timing, as I was tossing and turning in bed even at 12 midnight! I could not get myself to sleep at all! Gah, and the cold did not help, either! I mean, how do you get used to temperature half of that of where you were?

I will be meeting Emma in 1.5 hours. Hopefully, meeting her in person would clear some air on what will happen next year. Hm, wonder is XW is free for lunch.....

Friday, September 04, 2009

Back Down Under

After 7 hours and 15 minutes of torture, I have finally landed on this massive piece of an island called Australia (yet again). I have rated this particular flight back to Kingsford Smith International Airport the worst in my 6 years of flying to Sydney. Why? Well, one big reason is due to it being a night flight. Another is, a Saudi Arabian baby boy of about a year old would not stop crying! The only time he stopped was when he managed to threaten his dad using his cries to stand up and rock him! Unbelievable!

Just imagine how sore my neck and how heavy my eyelids are right now.

To rub salt to the injury, my money went missing. I only realised that my green $100 note was missing from my purse when I was paying for my train ticket. I was like WTF!?!?!@l#$#^ Great way to welcome me back warmly, eh?

The train ride back to Eastwood was smooth, though. Finally, I get to use the newly refurbished Eastwood station. After unloading my stuff at Aunty's place, we headed to Macquarie Centre so that I could buy my Vodafone recharge from Woolies. I visited the jewellery shop I used to work at and Ray was there. I was also lucky enough to bump into May, who was supposed to be away for the day.

Guess what I had for lunch... chicken laksa at F&L. And, I could not finish the whole bowl! Haha, I guess I have conditioned myself to take Malaysian portions well. I also met up with Xin Wen, who had lunch at the food court while I sipped on my chai tea latte. As usual, we caught up. Okay, more like bitched about other people. Haha...

Went home for a siesta (I so needed it!) and had fun trying to gauge how much hot water to mix with the cold while in the shower! Haha, I was like a popcorn, jumping up and down not knowing the temperature of the water...

Having freshened up, Aunty and I headed over to Newtown to meet up with Cousin Lik Shan (more like Uncle as he is one generation older). We had dinner at Kammadhenu and one er, half a murtabak was all it took to make me feel bloated. Aunty lagi hebat - she had two tosais! Amazing!

Okay, I am like totally zoning off now. Cannot even concentrate on my typing any longer. I will keep you guys updated with photos on facebook (when I start taking photos, that is) and more stories here. Until then, take care, my darlings!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Heading off again

I will be stepping foot on yet another aircraft tonight.