Summer 2012

Summer is over.

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The season finally changes as I bid my goodbye to the familiarity and comfort of home and head out to continue the quest for knowledge and adventure. I was more reluctant to leave each year; there were simply so many memories that made this summer as just as special as the last.

Many things happened this summer.

A week before returning to Miri, I stayed with baby cousin M in KL for a while. M and I have always been very close, although we were hardly ever in the same zip code. We treat each other like the sisters we never had. Sure we have our differences, but sometimes when you really care about someone, you tend to let them have their way. We hung out with each other’s friends and were finally able to match the faces with the names. During that period we managed to squeeze in a shopping trip to Singapore and a couple of house visits.

Back home, I spent more time with family and friends. I rekindled old friendship. Sometimes we get so caught up with assignments and hectic lifestyle that we forget the people who used to be a great part of our lives. If you ever wonder, just like I do, if one life can make an impact on the world, let me tell you that it can. Some of the friends I’ve made influenced my life more than anyone would imagine. Perhaps the beauty of friendship is doing something completely mundane and finding it profoundly meaningful.

In July, some university friends had made their first trip to Miri (except TJ who came once when he was 2 LOL). Together, we embarked on a nature trip to Mulu, the world heritage site. We visited to four caves, the Penan village, went to the Tree Top Tower and walked along the botanical garden trail. There was a lot of rain – it was a rainforest after all – we didn’t catch sight of any bat exodus and missed the night trail. Despite that, I enjoyed the view, the company and especially the break from the city smog.

This year marks our fifth year away from high school. I didn’t think any of us realize how time flies (at least I didn’t) until the night we had our small gathering in August and several times throughout the summer. Our conversations hovered around current lives although we never fail to bring out the memories that we once shared. It didn’t matter if we are future engineers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen or accountants. We were once the little kids who tried to figure out the future in high school, a bit lost, a bit unsure, yet happy all the same.

Sometimes when I look back at this summer, and my life, certain moments stands out, but then these moments fade away. And we keep on making new memories. Perhaps, in our different ways, we are all trying to make our mark in the world so that we matter to people who matter to us. Just afraid that one day, we’ll be gone and nobody noticed.

21.

I turned 21 on May 19.

For as long as I could remember, my birthday was always during the examinations period. This year was slightly different, my examinations started a week later then expected – all the more joy to celebrate being 21. To top that, for the first time in my life I had not one, but two surprise birthday celebrations. As I am writing this, I could vividly remember how I felt in both days.

May 11

I was told by both Caroline and Chia Khuan that it was a celebration for Lucky at K2. Earlier that day, I was so absorbed in dissertation topics for my final year, after both my first and second choices of topic were turned down by the supervisors. All I wanted to do when I got back from university was to curl up in my bed and sulked for the whole night. But I decided otherwise, dressed up and went anyway. So imagine my surprise when I entered the room when all of them started singing the birthday song.  Odd, i thought, since the birthday boy hasn’t even stepped into the room.

Happy Birthday to you…
Happy Birthday to you..
Happy Birthday to [my name] and..

It was only up to the third line of the birthday song when I hear my name and I realised it was my. birthday. celebration… TOO! And that few seconds seemed to slow down a little, and all I could feel was love and gratitude to all the people who turned up and brightened up my day.


Needless to say, I felt a lot better soon after. If I were my old cheery self, I would have worked my way around the room, talk to each and every one of them. Instead, for most part of the night, I just sat quietly at a corner, just wondering what I did to deserve such good friends, and how blessed I was to know them. I smiled to myself, as I watched their lips curved up into a smile and laughter that bubbled out from their heart when someone told a funny joke or did a silly dance.


If it weren’t for the celebration that night, I would have needed a longer time to pick up the pieces that has fallen.

May 19

My actual birthday date.

I decided to take the day off. I’ve grown so accustomed to my birthday in the examination period; when I woke up that morning, I had to remind myself that I do not need to remind myself to study. LOL.

There wa a small gathering that night. It was my simple way of telling them thank you for the surprise  It started of with inviting MCSES, and the list expanded till about 20 people. To cater for such large group is to get party food; so, I went to grab KFC from the city with Caroline, and ordered Dominos online. There was a little joke between the cashier and us.

Me: Could I have a variety bucket 10 pcs and a bargain bucket 16 pcx please?
Cashier:  (shocked) So you want both variety bucket AND bargain bucket.
Me: Yes.
Cashier: (hesitates, looking at both of us) Is it just for both of you?

LOL.

If it were, it would take us at least a week to finish it. I think. I can’t really judge Caroline’s appetite anymore hehee. just kidding. 😉 We told her we’re having a party. And later, as we paid and took the buckets away, both of us struck so many funny ideas about what we could have said.

Somewhere in between, someone switched the lights off. Then i, the only person who doesn’t know what’s going on, asked to switched the lights on. What a buzz kill, I realised later. Then the cake came. CAKE. This wasn’t a gathering, but a CELEBRATION!

That night was fabulous. Partly because I’ve gotten the dissertation topic sorted, but mainly because it’s my birthday. I’ve never had a celebration this huge, even if it’s just eating and mingling in my flat. I watched as my flat felt smaller and cozier as more and more friends dropped in. I was really touched, at the same time guilty, as most friends had exams on the following day.

For both days, I have not anticipated such surprise, when the cake was in front of me, I don’t really know what to wish for, when I have everything I need. I closed my eyes, and all I could think of is I am loved. Whether they know it or not, each of them had made my university life so much more colorful. So, instead of blowing a wish, I whispered thank you.


The main question was:  What does it feel like to be 21?

When you’re 21, you go back to the fundamental things you learnt in kindergarten. Be kind. Treat everyone with respect. Own up to your own mistakes. Face your fears. Laugh often. Count your blessings. Be an optimist. Keep things in perspective. Being 21 is nothing like what I anticipated when I was 16. I thought I would had all the answers to the bugging questions, about life, love, friendship etc.  Instead, I realised that the path to discovery is far more important than the answers itself. Maybe that’s what important, and what we need to do: to focus on the present.

Because, when the present becomes the past, there should be no room for regret.

P.S. A special thank you to Caroline &  Chia Khuan for teaming up to surprise me for both occasion. 😀 I would have posted more pictures but it’s not really feasible with Malaysia’s internet. I’m glad to be home though!

March and April 2012

*peekaboo~!*  Guess who’s back?

Finally, an end of the dry spell on my blog! 70 days. It has been so long since I updated my blog, that I don’t know where to start.I am not going to apologise about the long absence on my blog, I think it’s a cliche introduction to most of my posts.

The first quarter of 2012 whizzed past. Design project is finally over, almost…. (just one more group presentation to go). It took a whole chunk of my life, along with all other third and (some) forth year chemical engineering students. I grew close with some of my group mates – felt so blessed to be working with them. Sure we had our differences but we had fun staying past working hours in the Mill. We joked around, laughed, understood more about different cultures, and sometimes confide in each other.

The worst part of design project is the last week of submission for the Part 2 individual report – am I right fellow malaysians friends? 🙂 I literally survived on instant noodles, bread, and takeaways from Samsi. I slept in the Mill for about four hours per day, usually around 2am-6am when the common room is empty. At the end of the week, I had this feeling that some of the forth years assumed that I am the girl-who-never-sleeps. I was at the computer when they left at 5pm and when they arrived at 7am the following day. And btw, fyi, i went back home to shower every single day.

My workspace during Part 2: I used the same computer every day for the entire week! 😀

March and April 2012

We had a few social gatherings here and there.  When surrounded by friends, I momentarily forgot about all the stress and live for the moment. whee!

HEHE. lame attempt at 9gag relation. so it begins…. with short captions.

Malaysian Games 2012 (4 March 2012)

Doreen came to Manchester for MGames 2012

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Jasmin Birthday  (17 March 2012)

Birthday dinner at Felicini Bar

went with Jasmin (obviously lol), Careena, Caroline, LZ, Gaya, Holly, and Ying

Prawn Spaghetti

Karaoke @ Pearl City (18 March 2012)

Careena and I : Got 100% HEHE

London Olympic Training (20 March 2012)

Food was provided. Awesome biscuits.

Training sessions

And since yee ching refused to take a picture with me here’s a dimsum to remember her by 😛

London dim sum with Yee Ching

Adrian’s Birthday (23 March 2012)

Adrian the birthday boy

Han Dynasty dinner

with Shiang Lynn, Pei Hau, Wai Lum, Seng Tuck, Jake, Matthew, Adrian (obviously lol), Looh Zhen..

Justyn’s Birthday (24 March 2012)

Justyn's birthday at Ocean Tr235ure!

Soft shell crab

squid (:

(cont) Justyn’s Birthday @ Pearl City

Orchestra Night (25 March 2012)

i-forgot-the-venue-but-it's-pretty

My display picture in facebook!

The average age is 50 😛

Ling Lee and Winnie visit to Manchester (April Fool 2012)

Cafe Nero hangout

Food feast for Ling Lee!

My birthday gift! - thank you ling lee and connie

Spring Clean (9 April 2012)

New place

Pretty wall

Jake’s birthday @ Gaucho (4 April 2012)

Jake's birthday at Gaucho

Appetisers!

Jake's 9gag-themed birthday card

and i made insert a wrong meme inside the card :S

spot the wrong meme? ):

Jake with his PS Vita

Fish 🙂

Bowling with Groupmates (5 April 2012)

A spur of the moment decision and here we are!

K2 (12 April 2012)

the bartender of the night eh?

Sing along 😀

Friends Gathering at my Place (13 April 2012)

The early comers

Ying's cotton candy machine

Malaysian Night (21 April 2012)

Malay dance

Western dance

Indian Dance

Chinese Dance

Dinner at Kok Man (22 April 2012)

hehe. done! I honestly don’t remember most of it, it’s just the pictures I snapped along the way. No pictures = no memory = no blog. See the importance of snapping away now? 😀 I didn’t upload all the pictures though, it’s taking too long! 😀

As your reward, here’s a sneak peak of what i managed to record. SHH! 😀

To be honest, I’ve not being blogging frequently because every single time I’m taking a break from design project, I just want to spend it away from laptop or mobile phones. Anything electronic except my beloved camera. And as of now I have officially less than a month to prepare for final exams! Good luck everyone!

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Signing off,

February 2012

It’s irony how simple it seems to say that you’d be there for someone or that you believe in someone… but when you’re stressed out, it’s hard to do the same to yourself. My cousin should be feeling a lot better this week, and I’m really happy for her. It’s not easy to ask for help, or to admit you needed solace. yay! This year, design project has been really stressful on all of us, especially me. Among all the crazy stressed out days we had, we managed to squeeze in some joy in between.

Just today, we went to Arndale! It’s been three weeks since we last went. I bought some flowers/butterflies decorations and finally decorated my wall, while Caroline and CK were browsing taiwanese+korean+chinese artists on my laptop. I don’t really have a clue what they were talking about, but with the occasional “who?” question. Anywaaaaay… here’s my wall with the decorations! Look how pretty the butterflies are (:

Yesterday we went to East2East to eat. Finally – after almost three or four times rescheduling and change of locations. The service was exceptionally great. We got free papadum just because we had to leave early before a party at 8pm. The spices were … strange, and i like the sweet chilli sauce (:

I ordered lamb mix grill. Oh, the calories….

14 February

We went to Revolution on Valentine’s Day. or, the day after. Maaaaan I have to complain again: the music was terrible. I spent almost the whole night sitting and talking to friends. Oh, oh oh .. and I drank shot for the first time. How bitter.

Shiang Lynn and I

I was going to delete the next picture, but I find it artistic.

it was taken by sherene’s brother. funny .we didn’t know who he was when he take the picture. how small the world is.

4th February,

Olympic-related stuff.Amazing how many volunteers turned out for the orientation training event. It’s basically sitting there for two hours listening about olympics. Made my psyched a little, but .. anyway. moving on .

Wembley Arena

3rd February

Kina grannis concert! With justyn, ee jane, dan, and ck.

February updates! (:

Toodles. back to design and nightmares.

新年快乐!

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2012!

2011-08-15: Chinese New Year decorations in my house

My first post of the year! *clap clap*

This is my third year celebrating chinese new year away from home.

Studying abroad has its peaks, but during large celebrations, the feeling of missing home is heightened. Especially this year, when we are having our semester 1 examinations. Due to this exam period, I haven’t been up and about to take pictures of the new year decorations around Manchester. In fact, the only time I went out was either for food in Samsi and Nandos, groccery shopping, or group study at Caroline’s and Looh Zhen’s place.

I remembered a couple of years ago when my neighbour who was about six years my senior went to study in the UK, I would feel a slight compassion towards him for not being able to spend chinese new year with the family. But now, since the last three years, it is my turn to be in his shoes. Despite that, I am grateful that ever year I get to celebrate chinese new year with close friends.

And this year, we had dinner at Caroline’s and Looh Zhen’s place, also my second home during the exam period. (:

2012-01-22: CNY dinner at Montana House

Earlier this afternoon, I wished my grandmother, my family and the rest my relatives a happy chinese new year. This morning, after I woke up, I took a random picture of myself and sent it via Whatsapp to my cousins. Then, my cousin told me that the picture got passed around the table when they were having dinner. “Pretty”, they commented, and I told them: it’s my grandmother good genes! A few days ago, my friends told me that I looked exactly like my grandmother, and I couldn’t agree more! Good genes passed down to my mother and now to me! And good genes from my dad too! 😀 My cousin then tweeted all the pictures they had for dinner, including wu zhi ban which I now crave for.

Thanks to technology, especially Whatsapp, for a brief moment, exam pressure are forgotten and I feel like I’m home.

Signing off for the first time in 2012 ,

2011 in Review

As the year approaches to an end, it is the time of the year where once again, we are inevitably drawn to reflect on the events of previous year and make a mental list of the resolutions for the upcoming year.

However, have we ever taken the time to remember if we achieved our previous goals? Do we remember, exactly a year ago, we were busy drafting up new resolutions: things we would want to change about ourselves and habits we would want to grow out of? If you do, and successfully achieve them, congratulate yourself. Treat yourself to something nice before the year ends. If you have yet to realise those dreams, don’t fret, as there is always a few items on that list that somehow make its way to the new list. Continue reading

Bits and Pieces of 2011

Some pictures before 2011 ends! 😀 In no particular order though.

Most recent, Caroline’s 21st birthday. We celebrated it at Pearl City, Chinatown.

111229 at Pearl City

Group photo take 1

Group photo take 2

21 years old, not 12 😛

Caroline and her present

It took me more than six months to korek the actual camera model that she wanted. And thanks to everyone who chipped in to buy this lovely present. Happy 21st Birthday Caroline !! The green card read “Warmest wishes from: …. (everyone who chipped in)” 😀

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Before this dinner, Caroline and I met up with my primary schoolmate (also our secondary schoolmate), Rebecca! It’s also a perfect excuse to distract her while everyone prepared for the dinner that night. Say hello to Rebecca, my friend for more than 13 years!

with my awesome zhi pai skills….

the food!!

The next picture of me is hideous, but I find it hilarious, so here’s for laughing at myself ):

1. Looks like we are quarrelling.

Looks like nobody won the imaginary fight 😛

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Had some photoshoot in Jessop when my brother bought his camera.

There’s still quite a few in my computer but that’s all I’m posting on my blog 😛

Bro and I went to watch a football match between Chelsea and Fulham on boxing day in London

111226 Chelsea Game

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University life, and probably the three group pictures in my entire with more than malaysians.Just saying.

111213 Design Project Groupmates

111103 Lab group B8

111009 Parva’s belated 21st

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Nottingham Games

Suhaib’s prebirthday party.

111210 Christmas Market

The End. Yes, it’s an abrupt ending, LOL. It’s too troublesome to post all the pictures up, so hope you enjoyed the few that you have just seen (: