Hate Is A Strong Word

I just realised how the same weather that ran throughout the day gave me such different feelings and emotions. It was basically gloomy and rainy from morning all the way till nightfall, and although my day started out kinda blue, towards the afternoon I sort of enjoyed that it’s raining because the air was cooling to the point that today might probably be the only day I didn’t sweat in the office.

Rain is sometimes taken for granted. Some people wished it didn’t rain because it feels very gloomy and depressing, or it makes the temperatures unbearably cold to some useless weaklings, but I guess when you’re living in places like Australia which has low water supplies, rain is something that people look forward to eventhough the Aussies don’t enjoy the cold weather either that comes with rain.

That reminds me of my first week in Aus for uni. It was sweltering heat one moment that mum and I had to immediately go and buy a fan or else we’ll die from exhaustion, and then one day it rained in the morning and suddenly it felt like winter just flew in. I just loved it the moment you can feel the cold crispy fresh air. It’s one of the things I miss the most about my time in Aus, the lovely weather and clean fresh air.

I hate to feel nostalgic, but I really do miss the time I spent there. I think I’ve said a couple of times in this blog recently about how I usually don’t feel things like this or wish I could relive past experiences, but I think my time spent in Aus sort of broke my nostalgia-virginity and nowadays I’m always thinking back about the good old “innocent” uni student times with the assignments and lectures and tutorials and my days where I do nothing but wake up, eat, watch computer, go online, and sleep.

Growing up sucks doesn’t it? I think being bitter is part of adulthood. πŸ˜›

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Heard a very interesting story a couple of days ago regarding some interesting analogies the people from a local chinese newspaper uses to attract potential clients to advertise in their newspapers, this case in particular my friend’s company who currently advertises in English newspapers. Note that the company has a Chinese majority staff, which is how this incident could occur.

It may seem strange to some people, but it’s quite common here in Malaysia for Chinese people to not be able to read, write, or even speak Chinese at any degree, myself being one prime example although in my defense I *am* able to read, write, and speak a little bit here and there. I have always known all along the non-derogatory-but-comic “banana” label attached to people like me: yellow on the outside but white on the inside. Yellow synonymous with Chinese skin, and white being English speaking.

I’ve heard it being used so many times that it never occurred to me to wonder what other types of fruit analogies out there, until the story of the “mangoes” was told.

What are mangoes you ask? Well, they are the non-banana Chinese. The ones who are not only yellow on the outside, but yellow on the inside as well. In other words, what that chinese daily refers to as the “real” Chinese people who CAN read, CAN write, and most definitely CAN speak Chinese, in essence the type of people who subscribes to their newspaper. It was interesting – and rather courageous – to hear how the reps from tat chinese daily could insinuate that only true Chinese people aka “mangoes” are more helpful towards their own community where as the “bananas” only know how to look out for our own selves.

Furthermore they go on to say that “bananas” are very confrontational unlike “mangoes” who know how to jaga muka / save face and will go all out to help one another without question. They keep going on referring to themselves and their fellow “mangoes” as the 华人 (Chinese people) like as if we “bananas” are not, and I think it’s just a very “racist” thing to say eventhough they’re making derogatory comments about their supposedly own kind.

I don’t feel offended by it, because I am generally not offended by racism or racist humour. If anything, I think their small-mindedness is quite entertaining, and I honestly do not feel confrontation as being a negative attribute to have because you’re standing up for what you believe in and not being a submissive drone as part of a larger dictatorship regime.

Some people look down on Chinese people who can’t speak their own language because they feel like it’s disregarding their own cultural heritage, but sometimes we can’t help it that we’re brought up in an environment filled with English speaking people and have parents who are English-educated and sent us to study in English and BM medium schools. This is Malaysia afterall, where Bahasa is placed more importantly followed by English. But I guess that’s another problem, when the country you are a part sometimes regards you as an immigrant and not its own native eventhough you have direct connections to it and not to the “home country” where your ancestors came from. Oh well. We don’t live in an ideal world, do we? πŸ˜›

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On a lighter note:

CheNeo: Did you know that English-speaking Indians who can’t speak their own language are called “mangosteens”?

Me: Hahah isit?

CheNeo: Yeah. I wonder what are Indians who can speak their own language called?

Me: “Rotten mangosteens”? πŸ˜›

OMG I’m Free… Free-ish…

It’s June, and my university life is ending as I speak, counting down the days I have left till I have to say goodbye to my 2nd home. It’s 32 days, if you’re curious.

Sadly, uni isn’t totally over for me yet. I have one assignment due tomorrow afternoon, and another due on the 15th. Of course I can finish the latter one earlier on and start holidaying sooner, but knowing me, I’ll procrastinate on it for as long as I possibly can.

The weather has turned wintery at last, to the point that I’ll probably begin using my heater sometime soon when it becomes unbearably cold. Don’t get me wrong, I do love cold weather, and this feeling is probably one of the many things I’ll miss living here for. The clean cold fresh air, something you can only dream of back home in haze-stricken Malaysia.

I still recall one of those Lat comics where they installed a giant fan on the KL Tower to blow the haze away. If only that was possible. πŸ˜›

I’m still kinda curious as to what to do after I get back, work-wise. My career stuff will have to wait though as I will be playing tour guide for the first 2 weeks as my HK classmate is following me back for 2 weeks to experience Malaysia, and hopefully to rid herself of all these humorous stereotypes she has about Malaysia and Malaysians. It’s very amusing the things she thinks we have or do in Malaysia. I guess that’s what many foreigners who don’t really know much about Malaysia would think.

Most importantly I can’t wait to eat all the yummy foods back home. I think food-wise there really isn’t anything I’d miss in Melb other than this yummy pork bun thingey from this Viet restaurant. Yup, that’s about it. Everything else you can pretty much find it back home, perhaps even better and with more varieties. And most importantly, soooo much cheaper even comparing dollar-to-dollar. It’s a norm here that “real” meals (like single plate rice dishes etc) cost roughly $10, where as back home you can get the exact same thing and portions for roughly rm5, give or take a few.

Other things are of course more expensive in Malaysia than here, but I guess that’s how everything evens itself out. Regardless, there are still more cheap alternatives in Msia than what you can find here. Futhermore in Msia, places like McD offer refillable soft drinks and you can pump all the ketchup sauce you want for free. Here you have to buy the sauce packets, don’t even bother asking for chilli sauce because apparently they don’t have such things here. Some of my friends bring their own chilli sauce when they go for fastfood.

And now I am craving french fries. πŸ˜›

Eitherway, gonna go off to maybe do some work. Or more likely prepare dinner. Planning to make soup, because I’m lazy and all I need to do for soup is just wash n cut the ingredients and basically throw it all into the pot of boiling water and let it boil for as long as it takes to warm up my room. The perks of free gas. πŸ˜€

Tatas!

So I’m Back In Melbourne

And nah nothing exciting has happened in the past one day.

I know I haven’t blogged in quite a long time, mostly cos I was too tired and unmotivated from my work internship I did the past 2 months. Unfortunately I did not learn as much from this internship, and I guess my first internship sort of set the benchmark that the recent one failed to meet. Oh well, at least I got something nice to add on to my resume. πŸ˜›

It was my first time flying AirAsia yesterday, though technically I flew AirAsia X, but can la it’s almost the same thing. I wasn’t expecting much, but overall I thought it was okay considering the somewhat huge savings flying AirAsia X as opposed to MAS, though with all the competition going on MAS has some equally attractively priced fares as well. It’s a bit weird having to pay for every single thing you want on the flight, as opposed to having everything “free” at your disposal on normal flights, though the cost of these things have probably been included in the airfare already.

The seats were okay, but I guess the lack of a proper recline kinda makes it less comfy. By proper, I mean the seat’s back actually reclines backwards. In AAX, the seat’s hard back doesn’t recline, but merely just the cushion that actually moves downwards and forward to give you the “illusion” of a recline. But for me, regardless whether it’s AAX or MAS or Cathay or what, on long flights my ass and back tends to feel sore and achy. Signs of my impending death from old age, I reckon.

I thought the food was not bad as well, but then again I find food served in MAS to be quite good as well. I won’t say that airline foods are fantastic and all that, but I am not as picky as some people la when it comes to having meals served thousands of feet in the air. It’s not like I can step out of the plane for other options. And I guess the good thing with AAX is that if you are really anti-airline food, they have the usual instant Maggi noodles, Oreos, Pringles, and the likes that more or less you can’t go wrong with.

The one sucky thing about flying AirAsia, or rather LCCT to be blamed for, is the fact that you kinda have to walk onto the tarmac to get to your planes. And the night I left, it was raining and there were some parts of the tarmac walkway which was uncovered and we had to make a short run from one covered part to the other. The final leg from the covered walkway to the plane had to be made while carrying an umbrella, provided by AirAsia fortunately. But I’m guessing for people with hand luggage that’s surely going to be a major inconvenience. Oh well I guess that’s the price you pay, pun intended. Hopefully the new LCCT, wherever it may be and whenever it gets completed, will be more proper than this.

Then again, thinking back when I flew JetStar from Melbourne’s Avalon Airport (the local version of LCCT), we had to walk to the plane as well and it wasn’t covered too. But at most it was drizzling so I guess I didn’t put much thought into how it would be when it does rain heavily. Wonder if they even provide umbrellas or just leave you to make a dash for it. πŸ˜›

Arriving in Melbourne was a breeze. Although the wait at the luggage carousel took me about 45mins (I think it’s cos I checked in early, so my bags were prolly right inside the baggage containers), I was fortunate enough to get a green chop on my quarantine declaration form thingey which lets me bypass the checks and go straight out. So yup that was good.

I was quite relieved to find my place not thickly blanketed in dust, so I just made some minor cleanups and am somewhat settled into my place already. Felt a bit weird being back, like as if either my whole KL thing was a dream and that I’ve been here all along… or that I’m still in KL and this whole coming back to Melb is just a dream and that I’ll wake up any moment to find myself back in my room in KL. But ya, that was yesterday, today feels more “real”.

And I’m happy that the weather today is so nice and cold, as opposed to yesterday which was quite warm. And I enjoyed grocery shopping at Safeway, which as sad as it may sound is one of the things I miss about Melbourne. And for calculative people like myself, I very much welcome Safeway’s move to include per 100gm/100ml/etc pricing at the bottom of the shelf price tags for easier comparison.

So there you have it, a somewhat long winded recap of the days past. Time flew by quite swiftly, and although it feels like it’s a long way more till I go back to KL hopefully with my degree in hand, I think that it’ll be all over before I know it. Just 4 months more only, as long as my holiday in KL was. πŸ™‚

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Almost 3 weeks since I came back, and I’ve been in and out of sicknesses and other allergy stuffs that it’s quite annoying. The one thing I don’t miss about Malaysia – the pollution.

I have been quite lazy seeing as I’m on full holiday mode. Haven’t been doing much. At least I haven’t gone back to sleeping so much and waking up late afternoon, as I have been obediently getting out of bed by around 11am. Yes, even during holiday mode! Hold your gasps.

I think I’m starting to get accustomed to Melbourne life, and I guess there are things that I do feel used to doing that I don’t get to do now that I’m back. Dunnola. I guess everything has its pros and cons.

Another thing that shocked me coming back was how much more expensive things have gotten. A large McDonalds Double Cheeseburger Value Meal has surpassed the RM10 mark (tax included). I remember the good old days when it was just RM7.45 (or thereabouts) for a large meal. Years later, and it’s now inflated by RM3. Gosh.

And it’s a little funny to see the Heinz canned soups that I usually buy from Safeway cos it’s cheap… to be so overpriced here. Then again, the good thing about Safeway/Coles/etc is that they regularly have promotions for various products throughout the month, unlike here where it’s not as many.

Eating out has also gotten a bit expensive, mostly in restaurants. Even Nando’s feels expensive now, with a half-chicken meal at RM20. I’m quite sure it was like RM16-18 before I left for Aus. πŸ˜›

But yes, it’s nice to be back and having soooo much food at my disposal. And a car too. Plus with some minor road improvements here and there, it’s not THAT bad, although our roads are still faaaaaaar from perfect. And the attitude of road users are plenty to be ashamed of. Guess some things just never change.

I have yet to cut my hair, but I shall need to do so soon before I go off to HK. Yup, I’m going HK again. This time with my mum and sis for a week. This time, staying in a PROPER hotel. One of the benefits of traveling with mum – certain luxuries are her necessities. And it’s the first time (not that I’ve been to HK many many times) I’ll be staying in HK Island itself instead of Kowloon where my usual hostel is, so my immediate surroundings should be a bit more upmarket, though I hope not at the sacrifice of the more “authentic” Hong Kong-ish experiences like the char chan tengs and the corner hawkers selling fishballs, smelly toufu, and my favourite ιΈ‘θ›‹δ»” waffle-ish thing.

I am a bit worried though of how I will enjoy myself, since I’m not much of a shopper, in great polar-opposite contrast to my mum and sis combined. It’s scary! The last time I travelled with them was over 3 when we went to Sydney. They shopped so much to the point that we had to have a late checkout from the hotel cos they couldn’t make it back in time for checkout. What a waste of money.

K la, this post is getting a bit (ha ha ha) long-winded. I won’t be bringing laptop to HK, but I have my phone with WiFi in it so if there are free hotspots available then I *may* post updates. Or I *may* not.

Till then, see ya!

Just another week

It’s another one of those “can’t believe” posts. Be forewarned.

I can’t believe it’s been like 7+ months since I came here, and in just over a week I’ll be on my way home again! I have never felt so excited to return home to Malaysia. I think it’s just missing the things you’re used to. I kinda wonder if I’ll end up missing Melbourne when I’m back in KL. That would be weird…

All but one of my classes ended this week. One ended on a good note, one on a mediocre note, and one I ended early by leaving the tute class myself. I still have 3 assignments and 1 exam to look forward to doing. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have to get all of my assignments done before I go back, eventhough two of them are actually only due in 2-3 weeks.

I have to say that this past semester has been a bit better than last. For one, I actually have people I “know” know in my tutorials so it’s not as lonely and I don’t end up getting stuck with lapsap groups. Another odd thing I realised is that I have this feeling I’m going to do quite well for the two Year 3 subjects I took, and I’m going to do mediocre-to-just-passing-(i-hope) for the remaining two Year 2 subjects. I guess it’s good news to my classmates who will be doing these Year 3 subjects in their final semester next year.

For those of you who don’t already know (shame on you!), I’m only here for 1.5 years, and I finish a semester earlier than my other classmates next year… if all goes well that is. And I hope it does.

So yup, feeling a wee bit grim about the outcome of my Year 2 subjects. One of which I already know my marks (anti-climax this one), and the other I feel quite wary since the lecturer is known for his stinginess in giving marks. Still far from completing his assignments. Bah!

As for my Year 3 subjects, I’m quite glad the two lecturers who are teaching me are quite nice people. One lecturer’s even specially having a separate exam for my friend and I since we’re going back early before the actual exam date which got changed. She knew our situation, tried to get the exam changed, but failed, and as a contingency actually went through the trouble of setting a separate set of exam questions for us to do this coming Monday. Sure it kinda bums that we’re having it a week earlier than the whole class, but how cool is that? πŸ˜€

Plus I think she’s quite taken away with our progress. I wonder if she’s even aware that we’re 2nd Year students that’s she’s wow-ing at. Hehehe… I know, I’m tooting my own horn, but I can’t help it. She has nothing but praises. πŸ˜€

As for my other class, I was quite happy to see that I was one of the few who got a full 30/30 for one of our in-class exercises that spanned over 7 weeks. The worse thing was that I only started doing it the night before and the following morning, where as some of my friends actually started much earlier on and some even did a whole lot more than I did. I nearly forgot about the assignment until the day before, that’s how bad it was. But I don’t know, I do feel that sometimes my best work comes out last minute, hence my very inclination towards doing last minute work. I can honestly say that 95% of ALL my best assignments are last minute work, and I am proud of many of them. Of course, some of them are with the help of some amazing group mates as well.

You know, if I ever had to give out a Best Group Mate Award, I most certainly know who to give it to. We’ve pulled the impossible, and we really went through a lot and I can’t believe how far we went with our assignments and presentations and stuff. Dunno, quite amazing lo. Can honestly say it was one of the highlights of my college life, finally having someone I can confidently say I can depend on 110% to do work without me worrying about its quality (unless it’s PowerPoint, the horror of her uber-uncoordinated colours and themes!). Not to say that other people are not as capable, but this one in particular outshines the rest when it comes to team work. Ah Joan, I hope you’re doing alright wherever you are!

K la, this post has turned out to be quite rambly. It’s been a long time since I blogged such a long post. If only I put more effort into doing my assignments. πŸ˜›

Catcha all soon!!