Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I need to stop holding back on my emotions, really....

Thank God no one was with me when I rode the elevator down to the ground floor and ran to the waiting family car. I was more than prepared to break down there and then but can you believe that I actually expected it? That I predicted that things will turn out this way where the atmosphere between us will be strained and awkward - all because of some, for a lack of better word, human? That I suspected the second semester will contain more drama than my first?

Yup, I foresaw it during my 2.5 weeks' vacation in Western Australia.

Gosh, trying to balance a Law assignment, a pending Student Voice article about the SC Board of Committees and reading through the Historical and Social Criticism presentation slides in preparation for tomorrow's lesson while listening to an obstreperous music at an ear-deafening tone is no fun but I have to do it because my temper is flaring again - at the recollection of what transpired today. Not only did I crap for both tests (which were back to back, mind you), I lost my appetite during lunch and could only stomach a small plate of croissant and cocoa cappuccino from Starbucks (that let me with a bout of intense hunger during Media Arts) and oh, I used a colorful language for the first time on campus.

The word I swore I'll never say in Kyle's face, crap!

"I am so cheesed off that I want to take my Converse off and throw it at him - in his direction."

The English classmates whom I'm close with are growing petrified at the way the subject is getting on my nerves. San San saw the way I was trembling and rushing to finish the pack of snack that I bought from the vending machine before returning to the class to complete the remaining parts of the test.

Sigh, I guess I shall return to the dinner date with Thoreau. It's been too long since I excused myself on the pretext of heading to the washroom. Not to mention, I need to sort out some other things tonight too.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Why? WHY?!


Amidst the workload I am having now, I managed to take the time out and pen this rather random post that's going to sound like I'm ranting.

Honestly speaking, what mess did I land myself into?

I still remember promising my close friends that I'll try my utmost best not to allow myself to fall down the dangerous path of last semester's. The thing now is that I feel like I'm going to explode in a wave of anger, especially with what I am facing on a daily basis. I know there's something called time management and balance and I really wish that it's the assignments sending my temper flaring, but sadly, it's not that.

On one hand, I want to achieve the high grades (no thanks to the universities' requirements and last semester's final average, which leaves me looking like this: =.=" every time I think back on it) but on the other hand, the further I push myself, the worse I feel - emotionally and physically. It's pretty much like playing the yo-yo. The harder you throw it onto the ground, the more force it returns with.

I never intended on heading up to the lounge after my Law class today because not only do I feel like I don't belong there anymore, there's always a wave of tension rising in me whenever I enter. In fact, I actually planned on shooting down to Coffee Bean for a breath of fresh air before the skeleton activity but I already bought cappuccino in the morning. Hell if I am going to buy a second serving and have a third serving of caffeine at home with ice-cream.

Please don't get me wrong. It's not because the juniors have taken over the place and sent the seniors scattering elsewhere or because my Law classmate has taken possession of the couch. Nah, he'll let me crash there if I plead with him. He's not that mean. No, it's not that and never will be.

I'm just not in the liberty of publicly elaborating on it because it will slice someone's heart if she reads this - and she will, one way or another.

I'm really not sure what has taken hold of me today.

For no apparent reason, I keep banging into the chairs in my classrooms and on campus and at the nearby San Francisco Coffee. The tears even threatened to flow down my cheeks when I was listening to Steve Chou's Sunset (it's a Mandarin song) and I was taking time out with a friend at that time before my next class. I've made a pact with myself that I will never let myself cry if I have to attend classes after the episode.

Even as I'm staring at the computer screen, writing this while waiting for the Media Arts videos to load (for tomorrow's test on Illustrator) and listening to a mixture of religious and non-religious songs, I'm really exasperated with the way things have turned out.

I wanted a fun, enjoyable second semester and not a mundane, morose first semester, man.

P.S. Sorry for the infrequent posts. Between assignments and my extra-curricular things, the free time that I have, I'd rather spend it sprawled on the couch to "Revenge" or "NCIS" or even sleep.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Truth be told, even though our family no longer celebrates Chinese New Year after Papa Carrie's retreat, I still consider this time of the year as another block of break for the exhausted soul. It really didn't help me to recover from the exhaustion sustained during the first week of the new semester as I was still wide awake when the clock neared midnight, staring into the distance and watching the display of fireworks in the sky, thinking.

Only the Lord God and I know why I was ruthlessly thrown awake from my sleep.

In the little fruitful rest that I managed to catch after being harassed by the mosquitoes, a neutral dream decided to wreck it all and leave me looking like a possessed zombie.

I dreamt that since we were stuck in the airport to catch our next flight, one of my friends (none of whom I know in real life) suggested that we catch a meal from one of the outlets to satiate the hunger pangs or we'd be forced to buy food onboard the plane, which she didn't like at all. It was a Japanese food chain that we mutually agreed upon. While she confidently ordered sashimi - sliced tuna, to be exact, I wanted something hot and asked if I could have a bowl of miso soup with all of the condiments but without the udon but sadly, the restaurant staff couldn't omit the noodles.

I suddenly remembered that I forgot to bring my stainless steel food container with me and decided that I'll have the bowl of soup (with noodles, obviously) there and then even though I wasn't starving.

That was the first part of the dream.

Here comes the second half of it.

I dreamt that we were all in the lounge, sharing the same break time with other fellow students - juniors and seniors, acquainted and strangers. I'm surprised that the room could contain so many people at one go because it sounded like it was being brought down with the amount of noise being produced. When it was time for me and a friend to leave for our respective classes, I literally had to stand on a chair (because the dude's terribly tall. My 5'6" frame can't handle the height difference too well) and gave him one of the tightest hugs I've ever given.

Oh, boy, my surprise action on the friend left me rushing for English class.

As I was flying down the stairs, I ran into my Law lecturer, who nudged me to hurry (hurry for what? The class or on my assignments?), to which I answered that I was already hurrying. My voice arrived after me in the hallway and as I took a split second to adjust my breath, I saw Jin-May entering her class (okay, in real life, this is so incorrect. We have classes at that timing, but on different floors).

My English class.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Perth: Days Sixteen and Seventeen

Trying to write today's post is already tough because I am writing it off memory. Throw in the research and preparation for Friday's Law presentation on human rights as well and everything seems harder than it already is. The legal document, UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, should ring a bell in your minds by now. If it doesn't, it's alright. I wasn't even aware of such a Declaration until last year's preparation for the Hear Us Out 11 conference by the World Issues class.

Oh, did I mention that I need to perfect my Media Arts assignments as well? I've tried recording the peer tutorial video for the class and well, let's just say that it sounds like I was rushing.

Anyway, on to the subject of outings.

Day 16

Oh, wow, time really flies fast, don't you think?

We'll be flying off to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow but please don't think that we took things slowly because we didn't. Instead of being cooped up in the hotel room and packing the luggage, we actually went on our last adventure.

At the crack of dawn, I was chased off the bed as Mama Carrie insisted that we swing by Centro Galleria for the final time to pick up whatever items that we wanted to bring home. Growling and cursing inside my heart, I dragged my feet and followed her out the hotel room to catch the bus - obviously after breakfast and a change in attire. Now, I'll tell you why I wasn't keen at the trip. How are we to successfully shove everything into the luggage when there's a weight constraint that threatens to burst the seams?

Credits to Galleria 220 | Wikipedia for the image

As we walked into the mall from Morley Bus Station, I don't know how and why I missed the first time but the seconds bookstore suddenly came into plain view. The book lover in me diverted in that direction and browsed through the aisles just for the fun of it and ended up walking away with two romance novels (bought at AUD$3 each).

See, if only I went again Mama Carrie's words and paid for a higher baggage allowance.

When we were in the fruit store, being sandwiched left, right and centre by the amount of shoppers who decided to bring their trolleys inside with them, the way she bought the fruits was rather scary and it looked as if Mama Carrie was going to purchase the whole shop and bring it home with us.

Mind you, that shows how luscious the local fruits were.

When her goal was accomplished, she suddenly turned to me and whined that she was growing hungry. I shot a glance at my watch; it was almost 1pm. The only place we knew in Galleria was the cafe, and that's where we ate again as we kind of came to the notion that if an eatery has loads of Western diners patronizing it, the food must be delectable and mouth-watering during our previous trip.

Not wanting to throw our money on the same dish that we had, Mushroom and Steak Pie, which was a savory dish, we chose something totally different, something really sweet.

Apple Pie and Apple Crumble plus Cappuccino

As the exhaustion took its toll on me, we decided that it was time to call it a day as we were uncomfortably lugging the rather heavy bags of fruits. My shoulders were extremely sore, so sore that I thought it was going to snap because there was another stretch of road that we needed to pass before arriving at the hotel.

I was just so lifeless that night.

Come to think of it, the daily exploration on foot was a blessing in disguise because some of the excess weight actually melted away without me even being aware of it. It wasn't until my dear friend and Mama Carrie pointed it out to me that I realized it.

Day 17

Kuala Lumpur, here we come!

Guess what? I'll be in the comfort of my home tonight! Inasmuch as I am relieved and anxious to face the new semester, I am a little hesitant on leaving this serene and breathtaking area.

I don't know whether it was a sign, but while we were packing the coffee machine, the coffee filter was accidentally thrown away with the box and the Styrofoam protective cover. It wasn't of my doing, though. Mama Carrie somehow figured that if she brought the item in its original packaging with her onboard, two things would happen: either it wouldn't fit in the cabin or we'll be heavily taxed on it seeing that it is an electrical appliance.

With a couple of hours before our departure to Perth International Airport, we hit the road and explored Murray Street Mall for the one last time. Can you imagine that the temperature neared 36 degrees Celsius and that's actually the average we get in Kuala Lumpur?

The carry-on luggage was a pain in the neck, I have to admit. Because Mama Carrie figured that we wouldn't be buying anything, I went for the minimum baggage allowance of 20kg, which turned out to be a disastrous event when we checked in. Judging from the amount of bags we had with us, I should've paid for the 30kg allowance - or even the 40kg one. Carrying it onboard was a struggle; almost dropped the bag on an innocent fellow passenger's head.

I was rather surprised that the aircraft departed Western Australia 30 minutes prior to its scheduled departure time because knowing this particular company, it's already sheer luck if it leaves the airport ground on time. As it picked up speed and took off, I thought that I'll be home earlier since an old friend would be there to drive us home, which, sadly, turned out to be the total opposite.

You'll know why shortly.

Screw it, I'm skipping whatever happened on flight because I feel that publicly relating it won't bring any good; in fact, it'll only make the entire post emotional and sad.

Taken during the Taipei flight in boredom

It was 9.30pm on a Friday night that we arrived at LCCT. Just as the airplane was finding its spot to stop and allow its passengers to make their way to the airport building (which was some walking distance away), my heart smiled with happiness as I switched on my cell phone, texted the two close friends that guys, I've landed safely. Up until now, I still don't know why Mama Carrie chose this airline when the one that I'm accustomed to provides more comfort in terms of seats and transport.

The airport was a different scenario than our arrival from Taipei during Deepavali. This time around, there were long queues at each Immigration counter (even though we were lining up at the ones specially dedicated to Malaysian passport holders, it was just as long). I need to bring this fact up: the Immigration officers in Perth were so tactful and friendly but the ones in LCCT look as if they want to rip your head off and take pleasure in eating you alive.

Not even a heartfelt word of "Hello"!

Immigration Minister, you might want to do something about this. It'll leave a bad impression of us on the tourists even before they explore our beautiful country.

Okay, there are exceptions like that officer who attended to us when we flew back from Taipei; he was truthfully friendly from the bottom of his heart.

The baggage carousel resembled an overflowing river with the amount of travelers - from Nanning, Cebu and Jakarta among other countries. Some of the passengers from the Perth flight (including us) were forced to patiently wait for an hour before we could collect our bags and even think of heading home.

This is where things turned slightly sour.

When I was able to successfully connect to the airport's wireless portal, I received a Whatsapp message from the old friend that he couldn't pick us up because his car broke down earlier that day. Oh well, that pretty much meant that we'd have to rely on the cab to get home and even though friends and associates said that the airport cabs are reliably safe, it's still rather petrifying.

I know Kyle wouldn't mind doing me the favor if it was a day flight. He almost told me as much before.

Same random artwork that I did

We arrived home safely and in one piece at the late timing of 11.30pm but to a sandy and smelly house. Most of the tiled floor in the living hall and in the kitchen was stained with water from where, we didn't know at that moment. As we later learned the next day, the workers working on the neighbor's renovation left the roof exposed for many days. That probably allowed the rain water to enter our house, which would've been fine if it hadn't revealed another rude surprise - an invasion of rats! Yes, rats!

Poor us practically spent the next 90 minutes cleaning the house. I couldn't care less about throwing some spice (because sleeping to children's tantrums and the ear-piercing yells of my back neighbor, the one from Johor Bahru, is far worst) and actually vacuumed the rooms at that hour before proceeding to the mopping. By the time I was able to relax for a moment and enjoy a warm cup of oats with milk to satiate the growling stomach, it was 1 am on a Saturday morning.

What time did I eventually retire for the remainder of the night? An hour later.
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