Goodbye Miri

Gosh, has it been three months?

I’m leaving for Manchester tomorrow. Things aren’t completely packed yet though. Clothes are hung in the closet, electronic gadgets are still in the box, books are neatly placed in the bookshelves. Unlike the previous year where I finished packing one week prior to departure date (okay it wasn’t me, it was my mum who insisted), by now, the luggages are pretty empty. Last minute packing. :S

I’m slightly reluctant to leave Miri though. The first time I went away, it was with the excitement of embarking on a new chapter – to wonder how does it feels like to be overseas. Now, it’s my second year in the university, and there is nothing particular to look forward to, except to the thought that I would be doing anything but rotting.

Anyways, the holidays has been pretty good.

violin, music

I took up a new instrument ; violin (Read @ In the Midst of Every Storm or tag:music). I remembered the first time I pluck the bow; I was simply amazed by the music, although the physics terms like wave, amplitude, oscillation, vibration, intensity immediately came to mind. After six weeks, I switched to a new teacher, who was a little annoyed with my lack of motivation to learn, but at that time, I was too busy with work…

Yes work. It was my first job; I was a replacement teacher in August (Read @The Replacement: Pt 2)  and I have to say, it was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Some of the students reminded me of how I used to be when I was studying back then. Is it really possible to change that much within one year? Or maybe, I just forget the person that I used to be…

Of course, I’ve been out of the Oil City a couple of times; Brunei – twice (Read @ tag:Brunei). The first time was one week after I came back from Manchester, and the second trip was on the last week before I leave for Manchester. The first trip, I remembered bathing without heater, Merciana screaming at my ears, and eating raw oysters. Urghh. The second trip, I recollected that I played on the water bouncer, fireworks, and the best six hours conversation.

Sports? Not much. I’ve went to the gym a couple of times, played badminton (Read @ Warm Friday ) until I realised my racket is spoilt and went swimming despite my fear of water (Read @ splash, splosh, slosh). This only happened before and after August (working month 🙂 ).  I am sure I put on weight when I come back – no exercise + more food = fat.

Gatherings. I hung out with friends, both old and new. We had few great moments together, don’t you think?  The last one was Ling Lee’s birthday, just last week. I spent more time with family and relatives this time; awww, I miss them already.

Other petty things like cleaning my room, sorting up photo albums, clearing out my iTunes, categorize files in laptop and making cards..  I didn’t get to start doing cards until last week, after I came back from second Brunei trip. My cousin showed me A2 photographs she pasted on the wall  and soon later I was very inspired to make cards!

For the four of you, Surprise!!! (Hope you like the REAL card.)

Summer break is over. Goodbye Miri. 🙂

Back to university !

Second Brunei trip

Lame title, I know. I couldn’t be bothered to think of a creative title at all. It’s my second trip to visit my cousins (and uncle and aunt xD) in Brunei. the first time was one week after I came back from Manchester, and the second trip was, coincidentally enough , the last week before I leave for Manchester. We departed early, at around seven in the morning, reaching a transition place (no idea where it is) where my uncle picked me up yay!

I reached their house at around nine in the morning. Pretty early. By now i’m foggy with all the timeline and all, so the chronology may be jumbled up (you wouldn’t know the difference and my cousin doesn’t read my blog anyway HAHA!)

Merc, Jeff and I went to The Mall (yes, that’s the name of the mall.) First of,  we head to Swansen’s to eat their famous ice cream ; five different flavours: butterscotch, cookies and cream, chocolate, mocha with almond, and orange. The orange flavour is kind of odd when mixed with all others.

We finished the everything so quickly even though we just had our lunch an hour ago. Below’s a picture of my cousin and I. Merciana. Anyone interested? 😛

I don’t know where they hear it from, but if you are able to tie a knot with the cherry stick in your mouth, it means that you are a good kisser. Jeff, barely even 12 years old could do it. TWICE. We jalan jalan around the mall. Poor Jeff has no choice to follow us around.. he doesn’t enjoy looking at the things we look at : dresses, clothings, wall stickers etc, but he is happy to be in a shopping mall i’m sure!

Then, we walked to Jaya. Along the way, I bought Glee Season 1, second half of it. Nice! Thumbs up! In Jaya… we ate AGAIN.

Honey with kaya pancake and 11 balls of ter-something.

The balls are delicious btw !

and Chocolate Cookies Crepe

Went to Jaya supermarket and browsed through clothings. For an interesting video click  here .

We had BBQ that night. Lots of food yummy!

Just to state the obvious, we tried barbecuing marshmallows. Put it on the grill for a few minutes and when you put the marshmallow in your mouth, it melts. Very nice!

Merciana and Wilson (family friend’s son?)

First day of Hari Raya. Went to eat dim sum at .. some restaurant. Then took picture at another place (I really should start asking where I am)

Andy and Jeff doing .. erm. what’s this?

For dinner, we had Escapade Sushi’s sushi while watching Glee!!

And played board scrabble after eating. It’s been years since I last played board scrabble. Online scrabble aren’t as fun, don’t you agree?

I was supposed to return that morning, but my cousin convinced me to stay another night for a house warming.

Merciana with her peace pose; i pointed “omg posing again?” richard squinting “am i in the picture?”

I played water bouncer for the first time. What’s that ? It’s like a very large slide (about two stories high) and when you slide down you fall into a pool of water. Why don’t we have this in Miri ? 😦

I just realised. This is a double combo ‘test’ : fear of falling and fear of water. I was lucky to have been into a swimming pool just a week ago, but the falling part is just terrifying, at the same time pretty exciting!

I look like a fat chicken. PAK PAK PAKKK!! *flaps wings* haha..

and we reached the bottom!  For more pictures click here

After eating satay, we played with firey things that night.

Very beautiful!

We returned home before midnight. I planned to have a good night sleep before I returned to Miri early in the morning.. but when i asked a simple question, Merc and I started a long long long conversation. We brought out many memories that stick to mind, some good some bad. It’s always easier to see things more clearly from the third party, don’t you think?

I slept after six. That six hours in between was the best part of my trip.

Splash, Splosh, Slosh..

*pictures credit to Ezra Sang and David Poh (the difference is ezra’s pictures are watermarked)

i can’t swim.

yet, my first activity after one whole month of teaching is swimming. i am often curious of how i would act in different situations, and now i see them as an opportunity to be courageous (or to prove what a coward i can be 😦 ), which is why i took the teaching job in the first place. i have too many unjustified fears; aquaphobia (fear of water), cynophobia (fear of dogs), chiraptophobia (fear of being touched).. the list goes on.

my fear of water started at eleven, when i almost drowned in a pool. so when i dipped into the pool at Eastwood, it took me forever before i edged away from the side. the swimming pool is in the shades, so even at noon, the water was chilly, the kind that sent immediate chill up to your bones and make you numb enough to not want to move an inch.

i think i was in that very position for maybe half an hour. or maybe time ticked by slowly when you are doing nothing.

there’s only one way to float : to relax. but tell me this, how am i supposed to relax in my biggest fear? you have to take a deep breath, put your whole head beneath water and let your body float. according to ezra (lee, btw), if there is air in your lungs, you float; if there is none, you sink. for the first hundred times, i had an immediate reflex of needing to be above water. i manage to float after 2 hours of wadding in the pool of just 1.5m tall.

siaw tien tried to teach me how to swim first, and here comes my reflex out of my fear of being touched. she wanted to grab my legs to demonstrate how to kick the water to float and i, she supposedly claimed, kicked her in the nose (sorry!). for the rest of the day, i would just float using salome’s yellow float, or wade in the pool, or simply just stay at the edge of the pool.

while i was struggling to float, the boys were daring enough to sink.  why would someone choose to sink? i was screaming inside! but then it seemed like fun. look at those smiling faces.

salome brought a boat called the ‘Ocean Scooter’ (the irony of riding it in a pool) which we all had fun riding on it, but falling part is the worst. thankfully, i was the only one that day  who wasn’t toppled over on purpose. maybe my body language spoke “HELP!” or maybe they aren’t that comfortable around me just yet.

Look at the pictures:

yes this picture is hilarious. notice the third girl who was looking in the boat? didn’t she look like she expect some goodies in it? she was, in fact, just curious of the hole on the boat. do you spot me at the end?

don’t you love this picture? the way they both try to balance each other. the girl in front (jia jing) was falling because david (half a face shown) tilted the boat, while the girl at the back (siaw tien) tried to balance it by going the other way. but like always, gravity always wins. *splash*

i finally got on the boat, after everyone had their chance. and when the boat tilt slightly, my mouth looped into an ‘O’ shape. i think i screamed too. pathetic?  the fear of falling.. into water. i didn’t fall, thanks to siew hui (the happy-looking girl beside me)

oh i forgot to mention who went that day: t siew hui, salome, siaw tien, jia jing, steve, voon fung, ezra l, ezra s, gan, david and i.

those happened two days ago. today we went for swimming (again). i was determined to learn how to swim, and not just float. and i actually managed to swim across half the swimming pool, probably 20 feet. i have no idea what style i was attempting, but i did. of course, i need to learn to take a breath in between – still trying.

those who went today were salome, siaw tien, voon fung, ezra l, ezra s, sze yee, gan, david, jun, yee fan, ming jin, lokek… did i miss out anyone? there were quite a lot today. i had no idea how many gallons of water (yes, i’m exaggerating) by learning how to swim and playing around. we seemed to have the habit of splashing water to people’s faces. yee fan or ming jin (actually i’m always confused with these two) is an expert in slapping water to another target. i tried, but the water seemed to lose its momentum more easily than they do.

random talk. lol.

here are some pictures to enjoy:

sze yee (girl on the boat) has the exact same swimming suit as i do. maybe this should be the Cute Sport Club (CSC) girls’ swimming suit.

us having fun. that’s chee wai on the boat laughing at .. well, one of us.

the six rule-breakers. they dived.. the rules state “no diving, no jumping”

but that’s counted as falling, isn’t it?

i laugh more easily today. something about this group of friends, just like most others, that makes me comfortable enough to be the better side of me, simple and carefree. i talked more, but not as much. i still loved looking at happenings unfolding from a distance and be mesmerised at even the most common things…

PEACE OUT!  (failed peace sign)