Sorry for the late update. The weeks after my finals were surprisingly packed with hangouts with the college mates and childhood friends and catching up on the lost hours of sleep. What do you expect? Studying for the History and World Issues papers zapped the remaining energy in my weakened system.
Don't be surprised. When I need to sleep, I really can sleep.
I was in the lovely refuge (like I mentioned in one of the previous posts), basking in the cooling heat of summer while exploring their city business district and breathing in the fresh, unpolluted air. Now, I wished I flew straight to Auckland but nope, it was Australia that we went to.
More on the vacation when I'm home. =)
Credits to Sydney Cove Water Taxis for the image
So, how did you guys celebrate your Christmas and New Year's? You will be surprised to hear this, but for this year, I allowed the season to pass me by without any grandeur celebration or anything like that. New Year's was spent watching the colorful display of fireworks. Well, I hope that inasmuch fun as you experienced, you kept yourselves safe and didn't run around painting the town a bright red.
Safety is the most important.
So, here we go: a month-to-month review of 2013.
I swallowed all of the displeasure harbored towards the peculiar residents with pinches of salt. It was either that or sacrificing my sanity and everyone who knows me that when I lose my rationality, well, I'm not going to publicly reveal what will happen then. Not only did it leave me full of annoyance, each day was coated with an increased wanting to move out of the area soonest possible. Look, I was uprooted from the previous residence (which I've grown comfortable to) and thrown here. It wasn't like I was presented with the opportunity to air my grievances.
With a parent who is and will always be an adventurous foodies, yours truly slowly but surely started to tag along and crawled into the world of baking and food reviews - one little post at a time.
A hand-drawn symbol of love
St. Valentine's Day made the headlines for the oddest but wrong reason. If I'm not mistaken, it was religion but I'm not a 100% sure.
The first signs of the emotions leaked out and affected my health in such a way that I was yelling my heart out like a psychotic woman and knocked the weakened soul out. It converted the usually-perfect memory into sea sponges and I suddenly didn't care if my ears were momentarily deafened by the obstreperous music that was constantly being played on the stereo.
I didn't want to explode into waves of anger.
It was during this month that I found the time to do more food reviews (of course, with my own money!) and spent more of the waking hour in the kitchen, cooking lunch. It is something that I've not done since we moved over. First, the baker and cook in me would rather work with a larger kitchen and floor space and second, I always bumped my head on the cooker hood.
A weird-looking cake
A little tired of paying through my nose for a slice of cheesecake, I attempted to follow a no-bake recipe and bought all of the ingredients. What was the end result, though? Instead of the actual, smooth and golden texture that Chicago Cheesecake has, it literally looked more like a bumpy block of Provolone cheese, sigh! *breaks into sniffles*
Chilla Cup FTW!
When someone sailed along and chose to ruin the Good Friday plans, I was a mere step away from an emotional explosion. His actions forced me to attend the night Mass and to add to my misery, it was celebrated in a foreign language that I'm no longer fluent in for two straight hours.
Yet he tried again.
When he casually mentioned that he wanted to swing by the residence to visit us, I ignored him and fled the scene.
Did he honestly want to see me cursing in a colorful language?
The queue at another polling station for Mama Carrie's voting district. Mine was elsewhere, nearer to my current residence
Word came around that the 13th General Election was to be held on the first Sunday of this month, which was a surprise because the previous elections were held on a Saturday, not on a Sunday. We, wanting to be the early birds, attended the Sunset Mass instead and woke smack dead early in the morning to present ourselves at the voting centers.
Thank God ours was in our current location, even though in different suburbs.
I was as nervous as a bat and almost forgotten about the voting rules. I'm not going to reveal who I voted for because hey, that'd be an invasion of privacy and everyone has their own choice. Surely, need I mention that hopes and dreams were shattered when the results were slowly announced after the stroke of midnight?
I don't think I need to as you and I both know the answer to that.
We were sent - no, called would be a better word - down to a southern state in Malaysia three weeks later. As always, I was less than interested to tag along for the 3-hour drive since there was nothing worthwhile there for me. So, in an attempt to make the trip advantageous and beneficial, I wrote food reviews on two food outlets (which happened to be our once favorite haunts) that I used for my final Writer's Craft portfolio.
The improved emotions plummeted on a downward spiral again after having the door being slammed into my face, but certainly, it wasn't to the point where I brandished kitchen knives at anyone. Hell, no, it will never reach that stage and I still believe that this one was more of an outburst.
During an argument, I screamed so loud that it frightened the opposite neighbor, who was a fellow resident from the previous neighborhood and later asked if everything was alright - with me.
Wow, I was elated when Shirley of Luxury Haven emailed me with the news that I won a Foodpanda Malaysia voucher. When I submitted my entry, I was doing it for the fun of it and not with the hopes of winning it.
Anyway, instead of utilizing it at Woods Eco Cuisine in Bukit Bintang, a gourmet and premium organic restaurant that Teochew Mama desired, I went three steps forward too fast and chose House Restaurant in e@Curve.
Somewhere during the middle of the month, Kar Wyai and I caught up with each other at Coffee Bean Subang Parade for what I thought was a farewell.
Nervousness and worry enveloped me when the big day arrived and as I ran up the three flights of stairs to the Lecture Theater 1 for the briefing, I made a mental note to present myself in the best demeanor possible. Although I concentrated hard on what was being explained by the employees and lecturers alike, I pretty much kept to myself and spoke up only when necessary.
That, my readers, happens when you aren't with your known acquaintances in the same environments, but I'm perfectly fine with it.
I just needed time.
What stood out from the briefing was not the lecturers introducing themselves but a senior being verbally dragged onstage by the departing assistant principal even after throwing a fit of protest. In a turn of events, the senior eventually became my classmate in Writer's Craft and a close friend of mine.
Still, as much as I wanted to remain incognito and blend in with the crowd, being shoved to the front of the class of 80 for an impromptu debate gave me away. One good thing came out of it: my partner and I were relieved of the class assignment handed by the lecturer. *whew*
Don't be mistaken. I'm never arrogant or outspoken; I'm just being who I am. If you've noticed that I was rather reticent and didn't speak much, well, I was just trying to familiarize myself with the new surrounding and the diverse groups of course mates.
When the History lecturer announced to the class that we needed to choose a historical and scientific figure from the 19th century, I felt myself breaking out in cold sweat because presentations are never my thing. I'll either speak like I'm chasing the choo-choo train or lose my brain in nervousness - both of which happened for real.
Next on the list was the French Revolution. Planning this with my partner-in-crime threw me into the pressure cooker because the deadline for my other assignments was due on the same day. The Salon was another stress inducer; even though I'm aware of Jean-Jacques Rousseau ("I think, therefore I am" is what he is known for) from the Social Contract, I can't remember much about him or his historical significance.
One of the lecturers mentally preparing himself to be pied on
Oh, and there was the Monster Mic. Come to think of it, I don't know what possessed me. I remembered struggling to stay afloat with all the assignments yet I wanted to dabble in campus events as the Yearbook journalist. I'll cut the story short; not only was I there to cover the event, I participated as a creative performer and it didn't help that I was covering for someone as well. But say what you like, I'm glad that I was given the opportunity to join. The event was a success (thank God, because we were faced with the threat of calling the whole thing off due to the lack of participants), enriching me with some experience in performing for a live crowd, which might prove handy for a future drama performance. =P
Pie Day was a great success too! If you were within earshot at that time, I'm confident that you'd have heard screams and cheers at the flying plates of durian-infused cream pie.
*breaks into a fit of giggles at the flashback*
I'm so sorry, I really am. It's just that watching those plates being thrown at the faces of a couple of friends was surprisingly comical, that's all.
I almost fainted when I found out that the historical genre presentation for Writer's Craft clashed with the Congress of Vienna and in the same week as the History unit test. To add to the stressful nervousness, after choosing our cards, Joey and I were the first to present our subgenre of Historical Romance on day one, which was on the second day of the Congress.
I didn't have it the worst, though. Iain and Kyle did, as they needed to tackle their presentations with tests on the same day.
Speaking of the unit test, I wasn't as confident as I should be, fearing that I might screw up somewhere (and honestly, I did!!!). =O
The Performing Arts Council was organizing a Halloween party on campus and arranged it in such a way that all of the members and the students from the Dance and Drama classes were able to volunteer a free period to man the booth. I was perfectly fine with the time-slot given until I saw the lightning in the distance and before we knew it, we were all sprayed with the rain pellets.
Credits to Daily Inspiration for the image
Even as I showed up to take over the booth from the previous caretakers, I knew that it might rain that day just by looking at the clouds above us. What I didn't expect was for a heavy downpour during my duty because I needed to split to the main campus to take an exam an hour later.
If I knew that we'd be twirling while the sky cried, I've have brought an extra pair of clothes to change into. Kyle was actually gently nudging me to dance under the rain with him and a lecturer but sadly, I had to decline the offer.
Bobbing under the buckets load of drizzle and getting myself soaked in the process would invoke that memory from my elementary school days: my classmate and I chasing each other after our music class under, yes, the showers.
The last three days of October were so hectic with exams that I failed the Unit 4 History test (which was on the first Friday of this month), which was a first. I don't think I will be able to forget the look in my lecturer's eyes when he returned the rubric to me because the one and only other time I failed him was I Am Seminar.
It was a look of disappointment mixed with horrific surprise.
Some random street in New Taipei District, Taipei
Mama Carrie suggested that we take the short getaway to Taipei when the Deepavali break rolled around, which we did.
May I say that the trip actually brought the worst out of my emotions?
I'm not joking; it really did.
The first two weeks were rather intense with the assignment deadlines and the exam papers being so close to each other that I didn't have much time to update the blog either. Still, I managed to steal some time out from the revision to continue the sudden stop in the flow. I didn't want everyone to think that I have mysteriously left the building without a word of warning or adieu.
Something eventful happened as well; it included a little prank that two close friends decided to play on me and the surprise birthday celebration. I suspected something amiss when I entered the lounge after the Writer's Craft class because we'd always hang out in the Lounge during the mutual free period. For that day, 3/4 of them went missing in action and the Lounge was surprisingly quieter than usual.
True enough; when a friend rushed all the way to the nearby cafe where I was, she notified me that I was being summoned back to the Lounge as everyone was looking for me and went on to say that Kyle tried to contact me on the cell but didn't have my number. Heh, I immediately knew that it was to cover up for something because we (Kyle and I) have each other's number on our cell phones.
Not that we contact each other often, anyway.
The partners-in-crime waiting to pounce on me with the cake
My hand flew to my mouth when I was ambushed with the birthday cake. Even though a part of me saw it coming, I never expected the Lounge gang to actually go all out and plan the surprise for me. We were all frazzled by the revisions for the finals.
Not to mention, some of my other classmates took the time out to celebrate it with me.
Guys, if you are reading this, you know who you are and I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming. I know you didn't have to yet you did. I really appreciate it.
The climax of it was me blushing against my will. As if turning as red as a tomato wasn't bad enough, many of my World Issues classmates immediately approached me when we all entered class and wished me a Happy Birthday, especially Gabriel and Cookie. Well, I never expected anyone from the class to remember my special day.... okay, I'm going to spare you the details of everything that happened during our presentations.
When I returned home, I took the time to slice open the envelopes and found three cards with various greetings from my fellow friends and acquaintances. Some of the messages actually left me teary-eyed, especially the poem.
Shortly before my departure to the lovely refuge, Kar Wyai and I hung out over coffee and food at our favorite haunt nearby. We talked about so many things, but one topic stood out: our mutual classmate. If you're lucky, you can find previous posts about this chap here.
So, yeah, that's pretty much what happened in my life for the last year. Some are worth remembering; some are best left forgotten.
As I've learned, not all memories are as sweet as sugar.