Tuesday, April 25, 2017

4/25/2017

"If it's meant to be, it will be."

The words that her cousin, Mia, constantly advised her with rang in her ears as she walked with the family members behind the van driving out of the funeral parlor. Victoria's eyes were rimmed red, but she trained herself to maintain her composure for her kin's sake as she remained silent. Looking at everyone in front and behind of her, all she could hear was them wailing at the premature loss of an upcoming doctor in their family.

She needed to stay strong, needed to keep the unit in unison in this grieving period.

"Isn't life unfair?" Mia loosened her hair with her fingers and rolled her eyes during happier moments with Victoria. "I've seen my fair share of relationships and friendships being torn like flimsy pieces of paper because one party played out the other."

Victoria raised an eyebrow. "And you're only what? Nineteen?"

Mia was one of the brightest youngsters of the entire clan, even more intelligent than Victoria, and bound for Cambridge to fulfill her ambition of becoming an oncology specialist. She desired to make an impact to the medical world by contributing to the continuing research for a cure to cancer after watching her sister's health debilitated from the illness. Balancing her intelligence was her cute beauty. She had round blue eyes that radiated warmth and cheekbones that illumined her elegance.

Three months to the dark day, she wanted to organize a separate farewell with her peers from high school and matriculation at different moments since they were flying to parts unknown and maintaining contact was tougher than first imagined. Her close mates from matriculation unanimously agreed to meet up at a serene family-owned cafe for a farewell lunch.

Just as she was leaving her client's workplace after a business appointment with her, Victoria caught sight of the stray dog digging with its paw and nuzzling something hidden in the bushes. Her years as a dog owner sharpened her knowledge and understanding of the canine friends; it heightened her curiosity and suspicions concurrently. She sneaked behind the dog and gaped at the gruesome discovery: a badly mangled and bloody body lying in the ditch with the head almost twisted off from the rest of the body.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4/18/17

The dream began in medias res, where it was at a crowded bus stop with passengers headed in various directions. It wasn’t a disorderly crowd, but it wasn’t an organized one either. People were scattered around each other like a fight was about to ensue. The poor warden was at the front attempting to keep everyone under control. I missed mine because it was packed like a can of sardines and the bus conductor wasn’t accepting more passengers. I was also torn between saying adieu to the person I was with (his identity was undisclosed – something in me knew that it’s a guy with jet-black straight hair) and staying back with him. I unwillingly called off the conversation because it was getting late at night and I wanted to head home to crash.

The warden was able to fit all of us into the shuttle bus that arrived at the central station. It was at that place where we had to take the ones we were supposed to board earlier. I ran from the car park to the nearby stop to catch mine. I noticed that there was a lady with flowing locks skating in front of me while she held a Chinese lantern. When I surveyed my surroundings, the buildings were decorated with the same type of lanterns with geishas who guarded it like German Shepherds.

To say goodbye will be indicative of me parting ways with something or someone, none of which I’m sure now. The person’s identity throws my suspicions out of the whack because I initially thought it was one of my Adelaidean friends. My subconscious could, however, be hinting at a college friend or peer – the ones whom are pals, not acquaintances. The online interpretation also suggested that it means I’m moving on from the worries that have burdened me.

The scene where I was part of the crowd could be illustrative of my desire for some time out, according to the online interpretation. In reality, I wish that I can carve some time out and hide in a place that is far away from familiar places and people. I’ve grown tired of the mountain’s worth of mess that I have to handle and resolve.

The part where I’m surrounded by Chinese lanterns might be a signal that I’ll attain the peace that I’ve yearned for soon. In addition, it might also mean that I’ve found the light that will guide me out of this path of confusion and darkness. As of late, I’ve not been academically confident and felt that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, as I’ve insinuated in one of the previous posts.

In another dream, I dreamt that someone – an older-looking female driver – drove the car with me in the front passenger seat as we fled the scene during the onset of a hurricane. I remembered that we sealed the house windows with tape and wood and ensured that all the windows were shut before we left. We saw the hurricane lashing its fury on the roads as we drove on. It was quiet on the road with an aura of a ghost town. The winds picked up speed and we heard its desperate cries inside the car. One of our cell phones that were kept in the white three-tier drawers rang, but we ignored it. I didn’t want to reach out to the back and destroy the masking tape that sealed the drawers.

I’ve only one interpretation: I must’ve been watching or reading too much about the severity of Tropical Cyclone Debbie that recently caused damage in Queensland. An online interpretation gave me the definition along the lines of danger, rollercoaster emotions, and the feeling of helplessness.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4/11/17

Start afresh?

A quick refresher?

When their conversation arrived at its natural end a couple of hours later, she embraced him with a hug that threw him aback. She bit her lip and closed her eyes, unwilling for the tears to betray her thoughts at this moment. She didn’t want him to leave yet it was for their own good if she remained out of Adelaide. He reciprocated with a harder squeeze as he realised that there was a chance he’d never see her again. His T-shirt was soiled at the shoulder area and he immediately released her from his grip, only to notice that her eyes were rimmed raw.

“Oh my God, Winnie.” He wiped the salty solution off her face. “Are you alright?”

She couldn’t look at him in the eye like how a guilty and nervous defendant would avoid facing the presiding judge.

“It’s me.” He turned her to face him. “It’s okay, you can tell me anything.”

“I’m sorry, Brendan. If we’re in another world, the circumstances may be different… and it wouldn’t be arduous for us.”

“Don’t, Winnie. Don’t feel bad. I should be the one to apologise. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you in times of need. With that being said, I hope that you could at least grant one of my wishes.”

“What is it?”

“Don’t lose contact with me ever - no matter what.”

Winnie nodded.



Brendan’s mind whizzed as he digested and reflected on Winnie’s confession in the privacy of his hotel room on Hay Street. He didn’t know where to begin. Half of what she said was eerily accurate. His life would always be in Adelaide - that was where his roots were. He never craved or imagined of moving interstate for anything. She was correct; it’d be unfair and selfish for him to ask her to ditch her life in Perth for him. It was evident in her body language and her approach that her support system was here. But he didn't want to lose her either. He couldn't envision a future without her. He longed for her to be the first person - apart from his family - to celebrate life’s special moments with him. He cherished the food explorations with her and enjoyed driving her around town during the semester breaks. To hear and see her laughing out loud was his greatest wish and there was nothing in the world he’d exchange that for. He wanted to keep her worries at bay whenever she was in his presence like two carefree souls sailing on a yacht on the Tasman Sea.

Give her some time, his brain whispered. Give yourself some time. If you two are meant to be, time will be the connecting factor.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I'm still here, but I'm hiding behind the curtains

I can’t, for the life of me, believe that my darling baby has slipped into a heat-induced coma. I don’t know what happened to my Sony Vaio, but it crashed when I wanted to tackle the final bits of my Politics of Law research proposal. Thank God I had the nerve to keep a copy in Dropbox and Google Drive – or you’ll see me bursting into tears.

Am I allowed to whine about the late nights spent on the workload? The required amount of time and dedication this semester is more than I initially expected, but I guess it is what it is. I can’t complain much because we’re all in the same boat, gasping for air while struggling to stay afloat like a fish above water. This is especially true for us students who’ve to tackle at least 2 3 hour tutorials for electives. Gone were the days when we could chill until Week 3 of the academic calendar before panicking for dear life. It feels like time has slipped through the cracks of our fingers and propelling us to tackle our fears faster than we would like to.

I should be peppering the final details for these two assignments (although one’s not due until the end of the month. I’m sweating in fear over this one because by the time I’m able to polish it, it’ll be a day before submission… and I like to leave the assignment to sleep for a week before I return with a fresh pair of eyes). I don’t usually stay awake past midnight yet I’m suffering from a serious case of procrastination. I know that somewhere in the depths of my heart, I’m able to unearth the determination to complete the assignments tonight, but I can’t form coherent sentences that will make sense to the lecturer when s/he grades it.



Amidst the boiling temperature of the pressure cooker, the three of us managed to catch up over waffles. Although the arranged location was hidden in one of the laneways, it wasn’t as arduous as I initially thought because of its famous neighbor … and we ran into each other en-route. There was a slight problem that we didn’t foresee: neither one of us expected that the clouds will draw for us a chilly, cocoa-inducing day when we agreed on a day.

Something happened midway during our meal and it set the three of us on a trail of laughter. While my sister managed to recover on time, I bit my tongue to keep myself from rolling on the floor in laughter. I saw the gleam in the good friend’s eyes that if we started laughing out loud, we’d be dead from the lack of breath. The good mood from our outing evaporated the moment my eyes caught the blinking stars in the night sky. It has left me with a heavy heart from time to time because of those twelve words: “So, we should lie on the lawns and watch the starry night.”

Bam.

Inasmuch as I want to burn this miniscule memory of my life, it’s all in the past and there’s no point in crying over spilt milk. I can only send my wishes to the wind and pray that it will deliver it to the intended recipients.



At the rate that I’m speeding on, I’ve to pray that the upcoming mid-semester break will provide something along the lines of a brief respite for me to catch up on sleep and backdated readings. I’m drowning under the pile of tutorial notes that I have to gather to assist me with the assignments (it’s another three, off-memory). It is also on this ground that I want to apologise for my continual absence in the blogosphere - academics have taken a large chunk of time and I'm taking the little breathing space that remained to clear the stress with a spatula.

Gosh, maybe I overestimated my capabilities. The reason why I said that is because I’m highly tempted to scream my lungs out into the pillow to mask the volume. Lord, please save my soul from the torments that I’ve placed myself in.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

3/14/17

Start afresh?

A quick refresher?

She was as serious as hell when she claimed that Coffee Club Harbour Town was quieter at this time of the day. Save for a couple of diners scattered inside and outside the coffeehouse, there wasn’t a crowd at the area. Not knowing what to do and not desiring to block the entrance, he waited at the corner of the coffeehouse.

“Hello, Brendan,” a voice behind him greeted.

Neither was it strong nor loud. It was coated with the right amount of warmth and friendliness yet he detected traces of caution in it. It was definitely her.

He turned at the familiar tone.

She donned a floral flair dress with a pair of matching brown wedges. Her shoulder-length hair was trimmed into a shorter bob. She glanced at him with a smile. “Winnie?”

“Let’s go inside. I’m not delivering your corpse, if you die from the heat, to Katrina.”

Ouch, the wounds from her sarcasm was deeper than that of a knife, he thought, but quickly recovered from it. Katrina must’ve stabbed her with such offence that it left Winnie with a sour tongue.

Winnie ensured that they were tucked away at the far end of Coffee Club, where it was quieter, cooler, and full of view, before she skated the surface while waiting for their coffee.

“I don’t mean to murder you with sarcasm, Brendan, but it’s in my blood now. It’s the only way that I can protect myself from people who bleed me dry for their benefit.” She was less standoffish with the traces of old Winnie resurfacing. “To receive your text that you’re in Perth all of a sudden definitely knocked me off. I didn’t know how to welcome or treat you now that we’ve been out of contact for almost half a year. The best way would be to retain the sarcasm while I observe you to see if you’ve changed or if you’re still the same Brendan Carrington that I know. So, tell me, why the long flight to nail me to the ground?”

“I needed to see you. No, let me correct that. I wanted to know the reasons behind your departure. I wanted to reason it out with you…,” he whispered, “and you’ve left hearts broken in its wake.”

She suppressed a smile and raised an eyebrow instead. That was so Brendan: honest, straight to the point, and refusing to beat around the bush. “I didn’t know I was sorely missed in Adelaide. But yes, I’ll spill the reasons like the rain.”

The barista came to deliver their coffees: a regular flat white for Winnie and an iced lemon tea for Brendan. If there was something that remained the same in her absence, it was Brendan’s habit before sinking into his cup of tea. She watched as he tore two satchels of sugar and dissolved it into the liquid with a quick stir.

“What?”

“It’s like when we always went out for a drink or two, you’d dump sugar inside your drink and comment that the amount of saccharine was perfect when you’ve arranged an appointment with diabetes.” Her face fell at the memory and she stared into her flat white. “I’m sorry for leaving.”

“Why did you have to leave then?”

“You and Katrina.”

Brendan’s eyes widened. “What?!”



Winnie sighed. “Brendan, are you naive or oblivious? You’re not a Sagittarius, so you shouldn’t be oblivious. You would’ve been stupid not to have noticed Katrina’s mischievous twinkle at you whenever she spoke. Or the fact that she glanced at you like a love struck puppy. Her eyes glared with such fury that it was capable of murder whenever you hugged me but not her. Also, only a fool couldn't see your preferential treatment towards me. If there’s one thing you haven’t known about the girl, she is observant - even for the finest detail. That’s what makes her a good debater and law student. She sees through the cracks and manipulates it to her advantage. Your eyes dilated with passion whenever you glanced at me. Your green eyes, while exotic, does not work in your favour in times like that. Katrina and I are able to get away easily because you can’t see our dilated eyes unless we’re under the sun. Your face could’ve brightened the somber Adelaidean winter whenever you showed up at my favourite places, the ones that Katrina didn’t know I love. Not to mention, your reaction whenever I laughed until I flushed with embarrassment… Should I continue?”

Brendan nodded.

“It was as if you longed for me to be elated in your company and not worry about matters, no matter how serious they were. Correct me if I’m wrong, but now that I’m out of the picture, has she been continuously texting you to hang out after classes? Or asking you to check out certain videos about love songs and romance novels?”

What Winnie described was almost the accurate description of Katrina’s behaviour towards him. Ever since she left, courage possessed Katrina with the bravery to message Brendan over serious and petty things like the ones Winnie mentioned. It was rubbing off him in the wrong light and he felt that she clung to him like he was her somebody.

“How did you know?”

“I’ve known that girl longer than you, my friend. She was in the same classes as me throughout high school and we’re distantly related through our mothers. I’ve never remained more than cordial with her because she is competitive. Anyway, it was easy to guess. Someone can become desperate when he or she wants the attention of their crush. Plus, you’ve no idea what she said to me during one of the family gatherings lately. She growled that you’re all hers and I should give my blessings instead of standing in the way. She even accused me of brainwashing you to dislike her! I mean, that isn’t true. You’re who you are and I can’t answer why you aren’t as close to her than to me. You’d never been able to see it because she’s clever. She knows how to separate work from family drama and jealousy.”

“How did you know that I liked you? I was as discreet as I could be. I always resisted the urge to embrace you unless it was to greet you after months of not seeing each other. I’ve never glanced or stared at your direction in class or bought you drinks when we were together either. I tried my hardest not to give you the eyebrow flash when you rocked in with your presentation outfit. I purposely didn’t compliment you on your haircut either.” Brendan gulped half of his iced lemon tea. “But you’ve reasonable cause to suspect because it’s all true. I like you and still do, which is why your unexplained departure slapped me the hardest.”

Winnie sipped her flat white, contented with the silence while buying time for her response. She never expected Brendan to come clean because she didn’t want to believe the signs in front of her. “The truth is I like you, Brendan,” she admitted. “But there’s too much for us to overcome. As I’ve mentioned much earlier, Perth is my home. I don’t want to be pitted against you, Katrina, and home after graduation. Long-distance relationship is not something I can deal with. If I hooked up with you, I’d lose Katrina as a friend. What’s worse is we’ll be sworn archrivals. If Katrina is your girlfriend, I’d lose you as a friend. Imagine the three of us heading out and hanging together. I’d be the lamp post that’s infringing on the lovebirds’ private moment. That’s reason number two.”

“But -”

“Let me finish. Reason number three is my ex-boyfriend. For whatever reason, the bloody idiot decided to pursue his education with his new flame in Adelaide. To make it worse, they are in our uni but under a different faculty. That’s my former best friend, whom he cheated on me with. I know you’ll argue that you’re different than Tobias, but it brings back raw memories. My heart still faintly skips whenever something reminds me of him or of our time together although it’s been three years since our breakup. Throw that on top of watching you and Katrina as a couple if that occurs. What I’m insinuating is I don’t know if I can overcome the scars and love you wholeheartedly. It makes it harder for me to trust you as a lover while focusing on my grades.”

Her eyes lost its radiant soul and on the verge of burning itself with a salty solution. It took an amount of self-control for Brendan not to take her into his embrace and comfort her. “You’ve to be kidding me, Winnie! You should’ve told me about this!” At least you wouldn’t have to suffer in silence and I’d have ensured that your ex learnt his lesson for not appreciating your sweet presence!” His voice softened. “My relationship with Katrina is and has always been platonic, we know that. The foundation that our friendship is built on is powerful enough to endure the storm from a future relationship, should it ever occur…”

“I didn’t need you to rock up to him and bleed the soul out of him either, Brendan, although the thought is much appreciated. I’m not worth enough for you to land yourself a meeting with the disciplinary board. As far as it mattered, I’m a stranger to them… just a fellow peer from uni. I strive hard to stay away from events that involve his favourite pastimes because I’d run into him there. You’re a law student, Brendan. You can’t afford to have a record of anything that might clip your chances of being the awesome lawyer I know you are.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t know about this.”

“Don’t be stupid, Brendan. You’re a native who has his life planned out for him in Adelaide. Me? Adelaide was an education sojourn for me. My life is in Perth. I know you love me and you wanted me to stay, but I don’t want you to be screwed over by someone who’s not staying there for good. Soon, you’d start hating me for playing you like a harp. So, no, thanks, it’s not something I want to risk, especially since you’ve been so good to me.” She gripped his hand. “I appreciate it that you miss me, but leaving was the only plausible choice. Please forgive me, Brendan, for being the love you can never have.”

“I won’t hate you. How could I hate someone whom I love, Winnie?”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A pressure cooker's worth of schedule

Studies.

I’m relieved that I’m on the halfway mark in more ways than one. We’re talking about a four-year degree and an additional year of legal training. That’s if I decide to practice as a barrister, but the chances are likely. I mean, why stop at the bachelor level when I can improve the shape of my career? That decision also makes me feel … riper than I should. When I take a step back and look at all of my friends, most of them are now in their final year and looking forward to their graduation next year whereas a bunch of us (including me) won’t be officially be done until two years after.

Oh, well.

Something must be wrong with me to realize that I’m feeling more at home with Creative Writing when it’s one of the electives attached to my degree. I can’t exactly change time, can I? I’m not going to change my degree pathway at this stage. If I wanted to, as I’ve mentioned before, I’d have done it, much to the exuberance of my good friend. I read in between the lines that he’d have loved to be accorded with the opportunity of us graduating together from his choice of words, but it is what it is. I don’t know whether he’ll show up at my convocation to send me off with so much of a goodbye because we’ve never broached on this topic. It’ll be awesome to see him there, but I won’t blame him if he can’t attend due to reasons unknown to us now. I guess we’ll only know when the time arrives.

This particular elective that I chose on a whim has the remnants of Writer’s Craft, which is a positive and negative thing because it’s unlocked the chain of memories that I thought I buried in the depths of my heart. I still hear the sound of my own heart cracking in the dead silence whenever I catch myself reminiscing on my time in that class. A part of me still harbors the belief that if I hadn’t enrolled at the time that I did, I would’ve saved myself from all of the troubles that ensued with it. It’s not that I’m wishing those batch of classmates away - that’s not true because I couldn’t ask for a better batch - but more along the lines of two people. It’s always in the serenity of the chilly evening air that their images float with lucidity in my psyche. One I’ve stabbed with the sharpest end of a sword and the other sending his prayers of happiness to the skies with the wish that I’ll receive it. (It is with regrets that I don't know when it will come.)

You can pretty much deduce the ending from that sentence, although if you’re thinking of betrayal, you’re dead wrong.

Nope, it’s nothing to that degree.



The other friend’s right; I’ve signed myself up for a round of torture with the amount of coursework. I can’t whinge because I knew about the intensity almost as soon as the enrollment was open. It is with clarity that I remember his kind advice to swap things around (two of the electives with the core subject next year, like what I did for the first semester as a sophomore)... but let’s just say that I overestimated my capabilities and academic schedule. I thought I’d be able to ride this semester out like I did for the last one. Don’t get me wrong; I love the subjects that I chose. Otherwise, why was I stubborn for it? It bleeds me dry inasmuch as it resuscitates me with interest.

He didn’t bat his eyelids when I told him that I stuck to my choice. It was as if he saw it coming. You see, we managed to catch up in the first week over coffee - away from campus - and a tad bit of laughter to lighten the mood of what will be an adventurous penultimate year. Both of us are waist-deep in our respective matters and it's hard to waddle without growing weary over our grades.

Speaking of electives, I’m sure that the History mate will face-palm himself when he hears that I’m doing one related to philosophy. He embraces it with more passion than myself and it was as plain as day that I didn’t fancy learning about it. When we learned about the Enlightenment and the Salon, where all of the philosophers - including Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and Kant, to name a few - exchanged ideas with each other over tea, he flourished like a bird in the sky, even more so than me. Me, I swam under the enormous pressures of understanding each concept that each philosopher brought to the table.

Oh, well. *shrugs*

Sunday, March 5, 2017

3/5/2017

I dreamt that there were a bunch of us huddled in an elevator while waiting to exit at our intended floor. We laughed out loud over something that one of the girls mentioned when the only male friend broke into coughing fits. I didn’t know what happened to him, so I patted his back to help him clear his throat. It wasn’t until he coughed out a thick liquid onto his white napkin that a death-defying silence fell upon us.

Blood.

He sensed our horror and tried to soothe us that it was nothing big, but not me because I knew what it meant.

I bolted out of the place and cried my eye sockets out when my suspicions were proven true in the form of a pathologist’s report. Lung cancer. And the poor chap looked miserable and pale in the span of a week. It was like the revelation bled any form of life from him.

I blocked the sight of him and his news out of my mind when we entered a premium-looking immigration complex. One of the immigration ministers was en-route to his office after a smoking break. A shopping mall was its neighbor, which allowed the applicants the means and method to kill some time - if required to - or satiate their thirst/hunger. She caught up with my childhood friend and his younger sister when I pretended to immerse myself with the range of perfume that this particular shop carried. Although the mere smell of it sends me running for the hills in a sneezing attack, I had already decided to purchase a bottle of fragrance for the gravely-ill friend, whose birthday was just around the corner. I didn’t want to face any mutual friends while I came to terms with the bleak prognosis.

To be honest, this dream has leaned towards the weirder side. I mean, this is the second time that the childhood friend has appeared in my dream. It has to mean something, right? Otherwise, why has he decided to make himself known in my dream? And with his sister this time?

Let’s blow the scenes into a frame by frame analysis then.

The lung cancer prognosis could mean that a friendship’s about to prematurely electrocuted. The premium-looking immigration complex might indicate my desire to visit Pavilion and sink my face into Kurtos Spiroll. Not wanting to acknowledge the childhood friend could be my intention to distance myself from everyone whom I know. I’ve never bought a bottle of fragrance and will not do so for at least a long while, but it might be a symbol of the early birthday gift that I intend to pass to the finance friend.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Past Memories



Bic Runga’s sweet voice swimming through my bloodstream through her amazing songs - such as Sway and Get Some Sleep - is something that I need after an intense start to the academic week. I’m not sure what transpired in the wee hours of the morning, but I woke up with a vampire’s makeup and feeling trashy as I made my way to the classes and tutorials. I could barely keep my eyes open in the middle of International Humanitarian Law without the access to caffeine.

It’s always moments like this when I listen to songs like this that I’m heavily reminiscent about the memories in New Zealand. Ah, the time when we snuggled in that ancient green Toyota Corolla and drove down the highway to Palmerston North for an overnight rest in Papa Carrie’s acquaintance’s house (if memory serves me right, I still have the little gift that she purchased for me.) before landing in our final destination. The capital city. Wellington.

I’m hoping for the day when I’ve enough dough to take the flight there and breathe the fresh Kiwi air after more than a decade away from the country.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Let's go?

Hello again, folks!

How was everyone’s Chinese New Year? I hope it was much better than mine. Mine was expectedly quiet, seeing that it’s my penultimate year in a foreign land with a different spirit for the festivity. I’ve learnt not to expect the annual lion dances or fireworks (unless it coincides with other events) because it’s not ingrained in the Australian culture in the same manner that it does for Malaysia, which is why I’m always caught aback whenever I hear the drums.

If memory serves me well, you’ll know that the festival season is around the corner when the shopping mall or grocery stores are alive with the mandarin oranges or the festivity-themed songs. Your neighbors will set the firecrackers or fireworks off on the street, sending you into a temporary cardiac arrest or reaching out for your thickest headphones.

Nothing of that sort occurred here.

To be honest, I didn’t even know that it was Chinese New Year until I received the festive greetings from friends on WhatsApp and one of the sales assistant at the Asian grocery store that I patronize frequently informed me about it. Talk about being kept in the dark, lol. I guess that’s the beauty of not traveling during the festivity. Unlike the rest of my compatriots, I chose to spend it here instead of back home for reasons that I’ll rather shove under the carpet. I think the only fruitful thing I did was watch the much-anticipated Australia Open 2017 finals between Federer and Nadal over a plate of Magharita pizza at the tail-end of the heatwave.

It was down to business with the start of the orientation training. We gathered on the lawns outside Elder Hall like piranha fish giddy with delight over human delicacies to meet the students who were assigned to our care for the important day. I wouldn’t blame the commencing students for the overwhelming nerves because we’ve all experienced it as freshmen. It took me an entire year - yeah, I know - before I found my footin and regained my confidence as a sophomore. Let me tell you that it’s not the orientation day that will paralyze you with fear (although I didn’t attend mine. I mean, I was there on campus but it was a different atmosphere altogether). It’s the first day of tutorials that has the potential of you breaking into a film of perspiration - unless you’re the lucky one to have friends/cliques from college in the same degree and seminars as you.

Anyway.



After the necessary introductions and small talk, we listened in on a speech presented by the outgoing Vice-Chancellor before we disembarked on a campus tour. You’d think that I’d have made my way to the O-week activities since I was there, but I gave it an entire miss. I wasn’t feeling the spirit of it. It’s one thing to attend it with familiar faces but it’s another to be there on your own.

That’s not to say that I can’t attend events on my own. Heck, I’ve done it before.

My penultimate year officially starts tomorrow with the Creative Writing lecture. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I’m either out of my mind or crazy for not pursuing a double degree. I’ve thought about that as a freshman in Taylor’s … but let’s just say that I’ll have gone for it in a different world. It’s not a piece of cake to endure the intensity of a double degree because you’re talking about 4 courses every semester for at least 5 years.

I don’t know what to expect although I’ve been doing this for the last two years. I mean, each year throws you off-balance with its weird twists and turns. I’ve also peppered the foundations that will lead me to the next stage of my life with seeds of hope. I’m not going to jinx it by speaking of it, but I hope that things will turn out for the best and it’ll at least bring out some joy. I don’t know why, but I’ve been feeling alone and isolated in crowds. Like I’ve tuned everyone out and the only sound I hear is the one of my beating heart.

Which is not a good thing, if you ask me.

Which is also a good thing that the physical exhaustion masquerades it. I’ve always taken my time to flag a ride to the same destination as everyone else (if it makes any sense?). I don’t do things just because everyone else of my age is doing it. Take driving license for example. Most of my friends rushed to enroll in driving lessons the moment they were legal to do so and are now proud owners who are independent, at least in the travel sense. Me, I’m still license-less because you could say I’m a rebel. I still don’t see the need to fork out the money for it, especially since I’m abroad now. I’m not familiar with the roads here and I’ll have to read the RTA from cover to cover before I decide on taking my license in Adelaide. (I can imagine my good friend groaning at that thought because he’s been pushing me out of that due to the financial costs involved. Sorry, mate.) Another reason is because I’m not sure where my heart takes me for work. I don’t want to be in the midst of learning it and suddenly move to - let’s say - Brisbane for work and throw everything in a limbo. It’ll be a different Road Transport Department and God knows how much unnecessary paperwork I might have to endure.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Just a word of update

Hello folks, it’s been a wild week over here. I’m sure you’ve heard about the heatwave that’s thrown Australia into a furnace with temperatures edging closer to 50C. I don’t think you can imagine the hot air, but to provide some context, it was being baked alive in an oven. To make things worse, there were unscheduled blackouts for load shedding. Humidity also paid a visit. It’s different from the 70 - 80% humidity that we have in KL in the sense that you feel like you’re being suffocated. At least with KL, you’ve the cool winds at night.

“Because it’s easier to know what you’re not than what you are.” - Born in Ice by Nora Roberts, page 182

Everyone has spoon-fed me with things along the lines of intelligence, confidence, and kindness and expected me to be brainwashed by those sweet words. Some of it is based on the the truth, which I’ll willingly admit, but some are sugarcoated. I’d rather believe that I’m the average girl next door who’s trying to weave her way into a smooth transition from one environment to other. I want to believe that I’m capable of dropping people like hot potato once they’ve inflicted enough damage and making them suffer emotional trauma because it masks my weakness with the protective layers and keeps me from keeling over in angst.

It’s for the same reason that I’ve kept my innermost thoughts at arm’s length from the good friends, instead using exhaustion as an excuse to mask the absence.

That’s it from me today. I’ll be back with a more detailed post some time next week.
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