Last Day of College

Sunway A Levels July 2013 intake Group 3; so much love for this group of people
Sunway A Levels July 2013 intake Group 3; so much love for this group of people

I tried to put off writing this as long as I could by not getting out of bed, procrastinating by looking at old photos again…and right now I have a permanent nausea that’s probably caused by the flooding of gastric juices in my gut due to a lot of thinking when I barely slept last night.

Last day of college.

There was an agreement prior to Friday to dress up as formally as we could, kind of like the first formal Friday we did in sem 1 a year ago. I decided this was the best time (and the last time) to wear lipstick and eyeliner to college after 1+ semester of not doing so.

First class was Econs, and Miss Cherilyn brought a whole box of sandwiches to class so all of us had sandwiches as breakfast in class. No lessons were conducted because after that, we had a photo session with Miss Cherilyn. We also had a group photo at the stairs at the foyer like we did in sem 1, same positions and all. Maths class that followed started with Mr Lee covering the vectors topic a little bit and making a brief farewell speech before another round of photo session commenced. This time, it continued all the way throughout Physics class. Mr Ng was immediately roped into the session as soon as he stepped into class at NWG-3. It was basically like three consecutive meet and greet sessions with our lecturers as everyone lined up to take individual or group photos with Miss Cherilyn, Mr Lee and Mr Ng. After Mr Ng left, there was still time left before Chemistry class, so we dared Chok to do the gwiyomi in front of everyone. He did it, and he emerged from NWG-3 that day a victor of life.

Our last class, Chemistry, was at SW3-9. It wasn’t SW3-8, which was the very first classroom we had our very first class on the very first day of A Levels in Sunway College, but the arrangement of tables and chairs in the classroom was similar, so all of us collectively agreed to seat ourselves according to our seating arrangements on the first day of college, meaning I sat next to Zitian, behind Karu and Ken Fui. Miss MC entered and we continued discussing our Chem test paper 4 until the last 20 minutes, and then we took photos with Miss MC too. The day’s classes ended with a class group photo with Miss MC at the second floor balcony, after which many exclamations of “thank you!”s were exchanged.

After that, majority of the class (approx. 20 of us) set out for lunch at Seoul Garden at Paradigm Mall in several cars. Taliza and I followed in Bellyn’s car, and most of everyone were already there when we arrived except for those who went in Harris’ car because they were caught in the SS15 jam.

Halfway through barbecue lunch, I started to get a really intense headache and it had been going on for the entire week now so naturally, being the extremely paranoid person I am, my thoughts gradually started to drift towards really terrible outcomes and I got so scared that I had to leave the restaurant and call my mum and I started crying so I hid behind the lifts and after the sudden cry that strained all the blood vessels in my eyeballs that I had to wait in the toilet for the redness to subside, my headache felt a whole lot better, which led me to eventually believe that this headache might be purely psychological after all. Not being able to cry and repressing my emotions was manifesting itself physically and that was a really frightening thought. But still, I felt worlds better after that as I rejoined my friends at the restaurant.

After lunch, we had a generally very chill hangout session outside the restaurant where they had an outdoor stage and everything. My camera roll got progressively fuller after that. It was a very nice place with very nice people and the weather was also very nice (it was the drizzling before the rain) and I was very, very happy and contented, but just like the gloomy weather, there was an underlying tinge of sadness to all of it that I refused to acknowledge then and there, lest it cancelled out the laughs and the smiles on everyone’s face. It was kinda the end, but not really, either. It was like a transitioning period, more like. We were just sort of stuck in this in-between, and wasn’t that A Levels was all about? We, as A Levels students, not high school students, but not university students, either. Like a stairwell. And it wasn’t too bad, actually, being in this in-between. It’s the part where you have to move on to the next level of stairs that sucks, as all familiarity and comfort of the routines you’ve had at the stairwell are stripped off, just as you were getting accustomed to the clockworks of the system. And that, not being able to attend classes with all my classmates anymore, made me feel like I’d lost something valuable and precious that I had taken for granted all along and never really appreciated.

We left shortly after that, the three of us again in Bellyn’s car.

That night, Bellyn, Zitian and I had a mini foodventure as we set out in Belle’s silver Viva again, first to Standing Theory in SS2 where the hype over their waffles was justified -it was so good that between the three of us, it was finished in approximately only over a minute. Plus, the owner (we assume) of the cafe was like a carbon copy of a younger version of Taliza’s dad, appearance, dressing, voice and all. We had waffles for dessert first, so after that we headed to SS15 for a proper dinner at Little Fat Duck, which was basically just a black truck by the road that looked really cool and sold RM5 pasta. Bellyn and Zitian ordered pesto and I ordered aglio olio with iced lemon tea and we sat at the mini tables they provided next to the truck by the roadside. We also got bread at RT Pastry (again) (for the fourth time in two weeks).

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It was a really, really nice night out with good friends and nice music playing in the car during the entire journey. I don’t want these nights to end, either.

Back at SMR, Zitian and I crashed at Rumin’s room until 2AM when we used the off-peak hour 4GB data quota on my broadband to watch Miss Cherilyn’s videos again. And then Harris’ birthday video. And then Shit A Level Students Say video. And then The 1975 music videos while I scrolled through old photos once again on my phone. It seemed like I wasn’t the only one from my class that was feeling the same way and doing the same thing. It was 4AM when I went back to my room and wrote the previous blogpost and 4.30AM when I finally slept. Or tried to sleep anyway. When I woke up this morning, it felt like I’d barely slept at all and my entire body ached from, I don’t know, emotions? Sadness? Because that’s all I remember feeling as I tossed and turned in the night.

I hate this. I hate this coming to an end. I hate it so very much. But one good thing I have to admit about things ending is that you tend to forget about the bad things and only remember the good things, which makes things more painful in general, of course, but they were good experiences and memories that happened to you, and they are a part of who you are today, contributing to the good life you’ve led.

I hate things ending, but “ending” is just a word, and as long as we are all still alive, there is no real end to what we have.

And now, to A2 we go.

The End Is Nigh

Miss MC said in class today, “The biggest lie told by mankind is ‘I won’t record this down because I will be able to remember it in the future’.” And she’s right. Not writing anywhere about everything that’s happened for the past few months will come around and bite me in the ass someday, I’m sure of it. Most likely when A Levels end and I’m lying on my bed feeling sad and pitiful for myself while listening to a repeating playlist of songs I’ve listened to during these three semesters. And then a tiny thought would probably snake into my brain cells and feed me with You feel that? That’s the feeling of slowly forgetting everything you did during sem 3 that you didn’t write about because you were too lazy/sad/afraid etc and I hope you’re happy now! I hope you’re happy with desperately clinging onto measly half-forgotten memories and pathetically consuming them day by day like a drug addict with a dwindling cocaine supply! 

And that’s why I’m here, attempting to salvage as best I can what I have left here in Sunway with some of the best people I have ever met in my life. And doing so would require delving deeply into that cut-off corner of my brain which has accumulated all these nostalgias and memories and secretions of gastric juices in my gut that I have adamantly coerced myself into, well, cutting off for the time being because as I’d told Harris: 1) There’s nothing I can do about it and 2) It seemed wiser and more appropriate to busy myself with the 487392847923432 things I have to do at the current moment such as preparing for A2 and uni applications etc. But because I can already vividly foresee that ‘me crying pathetically on my bed back at home in Alor Setar while listening to nostalgic music’ image in my mind (and perhaps even feel the slivers of melancholy seeping into my pores), I don’t want to regret not doing anything while I still can before I leave this place for good.

I made similar blogposts before leaving high school, but that feeling of leaving can’t even begin to compare to what I’m feeling or will feel on the last day of college (which is next week) (and then A2 exams end on 25 Nov). I mentioned in a vlog once the contrast between high school life and college life, one of the more significant differences being how I’ve found a second family in my closest friends (and also lecturers) and how much I felt like I’ve belonged, finally, to a group of people whom I feel so comfortable around, how easily I fit into the mould of the puzzle made up of my motley crew of friends. The first few months of college saw me crying everytime I had to leave home to come back here; the second half of the 1.5 years saw me crying everytime I had to leave home to come back here, and also when I had to leave here to go back home. It was a lose-lose situation (or win-win, if you’re optimistic), and it sucked. Transitioning sucks. Moving on sucks. I know leaving is essential to welcome the next best thing in our lives, but god, please, allow me to just wallow in my own misery over leaving this place and the people I love dearly just this once.

I know this is a blogpost better written with a maximum impact perhaps on the last day of school or exams and I just tweeted that but I feel like my current emotions and words would seem rather invalid if I waited to publish them in the future. And that’s exactly how fleeting all of this is: what I feel now might not be the same as what I might feel in the future. I remember after coming back from MCYDS in 2011, I was so deep in emotions and nostalgia for the next week or so that I couldn’t stop writing notes and blogposts about it. And now, three years later, I read back on my emotional blogposts and I cannot seem to find a relatable link to the emotions I was feeling so intensely back then. And it scares me so much. The prospect of forgetting or losing touch with what I had here in the future makes me so frightened, because how could I? After everything we’ve been through together? We can reassure ourselves in the current moment how we’d always remember to keep in touch and never forget each other, but the future is unpredictable, and the people we might turn out to become even more so. But while this is a proliferating fear of mine, I like to think what I’ve established with my friends here is fortified enough to withstand the passing of time and the influx of new experiences and memories (so cheesy, minta maaf). There’s nothing wrong in turning to optimism sometimes. But then again, drifting apart is only normal in human nature, and even if that does happen, it still doesn’t invalidate our past experiences and moments together, and that’s one of the most wonderful things in the world, because memories live forever in our minds and in physical objects such as writings and photographs regardless of how things can change in the present, that is, until we die and objects depreciate, but I have little care for being immortalized forever for generations to come, I only care to be immortalized among the people I know and love, and that really is enough for me.

I can’t really remember what I’ve done for the past few weeks (how fickle the mind is!) except the general ominous feeling of being burdened by LNAT and mock exam results and writing my personal statement and submitting uni applications. But I’m glad and grateful that these bouts of stress and anxiety were punctuated by occasional road trips to good food places and even the National Science Museum in Bellyn’s silver Viva, and also just generally hanging out with the gang and classmates in college, and also my housemates in SMR. For all my constant whining and self-pitying, where I am right now isn’t a bad place to be in. In fact, if I were to just put aside my habitual pessimism and negative feelings for a day, I’d really see how fortunate I actually am. Staying stagnant in this current phase where we are right now probably seems like the most enticing idea at the moment.

Today, during Econs class, Miss Cherilyn gave each of us a For Fun Certificate congratulating us on “graduating” from A Levels, and also a video which I posted above, a slideshow of pictures of all of us throughout the entire 1.5 years to the song of Rascal Flatt’s My Wish. We watched it on the projector in the NWG classroom. I didn’t cry, mostly because of the cut-off, but I could feel the hollow feeling in both my chest and my gut growing in size, expanding gradually and counting down the days to my departure. And the worst part of all of this is how there is literally nothing I can do about it. Anxiety has taught me how to deal with my problems head-on effectively immediately, but there is no solution to this. This is a passage everyone must go through. And I can fight and struggle internally as much as I want to like what I do everytime before I board a plane, but just like everytime I do board the plane, I will go through with it, and it will feel like the worst withdrawal ever. But life goes on.

There is much more to be written, but I feel it only fair that they are written in much more detail when this phase of our lives closes to an end. Till then, I leave you this phony quote by Holden Caulfield: “I’ve left schools and places I didn’t even know I was leaving them.”

It Feels Nice Doing Nothing

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track listing:

01 weekend – last dinosaurs

Stats paper was over on Thursday, which signalled the beginning of our two-week holiday before we resume two more papers in June and then AS would end, finally. Exam period also meant that I was (uncharacteristically) cranky and (characteristically) tired so despite Austin, Ian and the rest’s open invitations to go ice skating, Taliza, Karu and I chose to hang out at Starbucks instead, having mini art therapy sessions, brief naps (in which one unintentionally strikes a melodramatic nap pose) and lazy conversations, just the right amount of replenishment before we rejoined the ice skating gang to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past at the cinema. Movie rating 9.5/10 would recommend; ’twas one of my favourite movie experiences ever.

02 supremacy – muse

The next day was a Friday, and the Sanuki Udon gang decided to revisit Sanuki Udon for lunch. Harris was yet again our esteemed chauffeur that afternoon, and we met up with Karu at Sanuki Udon at Kota Kemuning where we resumed the same seating as the one we had the last time we were there, which was 12 weeks ago. It was yet again pretty surreal, doubled by the absence of the pressing need to study for exams 24/7.

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After lunch, we hung out at Karu’s room where we did practically nothing. And it felt amazing. Taliza, Irfan and Karu were playing guitars, there was a huge spread of Archie comics on the bed much to Bellyn’s delight, and even Harris managed to sneak in a few minutes of napping despite the commotion we were causing. Karu played Muse songs on his electric guitar and Taliza and I even had a mini Muse concert to it. I imagined if there ever was a three-hour music video to a lazy techno song, our three hours spent at Karu’s room would be it.

03 quality time -strfkr 

On the same day at 5.30PM, Bellyn and I took the Aeroline bus back to Penang and I spent the five hours watching Star Trek and The Hunger Games, the last hour appropriately spent listening to STRFKR’s Reptilians album. Nothing eventful happened, but the general relaxed atmosphere which I hadn’t been able to feel in months was enough to earn a track on this playlist.

04 how can you swallow so much sleep – bombay bicycle club

I spent the night at Bellyn’s place, where we put together the next day’s driving playlist, dug out Bellyn’s high school yearbooks and to end the night, watched a 14 minute video of epic fail compilations on Youtube. We went to bed at 2AM.

05 glory – radical face

The next day started at 10AM in Bellyn’s Viva heading for a Penang authentic kopitiam to have toast and half-boiled egg breakfast. Being surrounded by old folks speaking in Hokkien and actually enjoying what we were eating was such an antithesis to the dull tedium of visiting The Rock almost everyday for every meal in Sunway; it was already a good start to the day.

We decided to head to the beach after that and the car drive to Batu Ferringhi accompanied by good music from our playlist was amazing. Ethereal. Surreal. I use the word “surreal” a lot but trust me, it definitely is surreal, the kind that leaves you literally breathless, emotions jamming your system that should you laugh??? should you cry??? who knows???

Unfortunately, we didn’t really think this through, and by this I mean going to the beach at 12 noon on the dot in the sweltering heat. We drove to (according to Bellyn) what was apparently the smallest national park in the world, found zilch parking, stopped by at two beaches before deciding it was too hot for this and finally succumbed to the cool air-conditioning of the car. But it was okay. Like I said, good music + car drive around town + good company = the impossibility of anything going wrong.

Lunch was mi jawa somewhere in town before we went cafe searching around Armenian Street and ended up at a cafe called Favourite Cafe (whose favourite cafe? We might never know). At around 4PM we headed back to the Ooi residence where we lazed around for about 10 minutes before my mum called and I had to leave with the heaviest of hearts.

The Story, It Starts With A Cart…


The little green imp that has been following them around everywhere, the two girls decided to put inside a cart they found at school.

The imp squirmed a little at first in combat boots (they had harsh terrestrial conditions where she came from) , but ended up savouring the novelty of being literally carted around by the two humans she considered her most trustworthy companions during her entire time in the human world.

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However, like all her times among humans, the little green imp had to return home; although this time, she already found home in the cart she was pushed around in by her human friends. (They also found irony in the cart because a) it was also green b) there was a sign hung on both sides of the cart that says “Let us help ease your burdens”…the imp did anything but that.)

Check out that time we caught a merman at Lagoonview.

We didn’t actually go looking for a cart. Technically, it found us. And we seized the opportunity.

I spent the weekend meeting up with Effie and Elya (InT3rN3t fRenZzZZ!!111) and also (1/6) of the 2011 Starstruckers: Min Hui, Ann-Marie, Ju Mei and Le Shea.

I’m also going home for Chinese New Year on Tuesday. A lot of things are looking up. I just need to constantly remember that.

Creative Friday Part I

My first post of the year would be one describing our first Creative Friday, a photoshoot (photostory sequence) of a merman literally out of water and on land for the first time.

Leached this off Taliza’s Instagram, real photos to come

Members of the crew: Gerald as the model/merman, Bellyn as the photographer and photoshoot idea initiator, Taliza as the photography assistant, Karu as the make-up and hair stylist and me as the DJ and occasional help-about person thingmajig. Zitian, Ian, Austin and Harris were also there, and overall it was a pretty productive five hours spent at Lagoonview apartment where the photoshoot was held, in Gerald and Austin’s unit.

Behind the scenes from Bellyn’s Instagram

This is my first time being involved in such an activity and it was pretty exciting to be honest, save not really knowing what to do in a sea of experienced members. It was not your typical Friday leisure activity, either.

Looking forward to more Creative Fridays!

Road Trip(ping)

Credit to Bellyn
Credit to Bellyn | Kids in a line: Austin, yours truly, Ian, Harris, Rynn and Danny | Kid jumping and showing his butt: Ken Fui | Kid also taking a photo: Taliza

Contrary to what the title might suggest, the road trip was extremely safe and innocent, everyone do not worry, it was just a funny wordplay that I’m pretty proud of myself for.

Initially, I thought I might be hardworking enough for a photoblog but then equipped with this terrible lagged laptop, I realised that wasn’t such a good idea. So, for photos of the trip by Bellyn, Taliza, Harris, Ziyun etc, links are here, here and here.

First day of the trip was Sunday, 8th Dec, but I was only present for the second half of the day. I’d flown back to Alor Setar the day before since I’d already purchased the flight ticket earlier on, whereas the other eight (Bellyn, Taliza, Austin, Ian, Ken Fui, Rynn, Danny and Harris) rented a van from Sunway, stopped for lunch at Ipoh (where they met up with Zitian) and then only headed for Alor Setar where they would be crashing at my house for a night.

Seeing all my Sunway classmates standing outside my house, sitting on my sofa, using my toilet, eating my food (technically not mine alone but it’s easier to describe it that way): it was all so surreal. It was like watching two worlds collide; previously when I’d firmly separated both environments and people (Alor Setar people in Alor Setar; Sunway people in Sunway) in my mind, I never once imagined they would both merge together to form something…beautiful. Initial foreignness aside, it was amazing having these people at a place where I’ve grown up all my life, it’s like writing more solid characters of them in the previous 17 years story of my life that was already written and archived before I went to college.

Credit to Mum | We were joined by Irfan by Facetime, where we put him in a bowl and made him watch a movie together with us

The next day, I was supposed to follow on the trip to Langkawi where the adventures will officially start but saddest of sads, I had diarrhea early in the morning and vomited at night due to indigestion.

I only met up with them again at Penang on the next day (Tuesday) after they took a ferry from Langkawi to Penang, and that night we had a fantastic seafood dinner at DeHappy, Bellyn’s dad’s seafood restaurant. Upset stomach momentarily forgotten, it was pure indulgence for the entire two hours we ate, and then we headed to Armenian St. to take photos with the famous murals in a seven-seater driven by Bellyn. Mural photos by Penang visitors are in abundance, but have you seen people take these photos at night? I don’t think so.

Credit to Taliza | Austin and yours truly
Credit to Harris | Core

We stayed at Bellyn’s house that night, and the consecutive two nights in Penang, all nine of us. Taliza, Bellyn and I occupied the bed in Bellyn’s room while all the other boys found comfort and solace in random corners of the house (eg. spare bedrooms, couches, sleeping bags on the floor), as was the arrangement in my house as well.

Before I continue, I think it’s wise to add as a prelude that this trip was essentially an eating trip, because for the entire three days we were in Penang, we had three courses of breakfast, lunch and dinner each and that’s not including afternoon tea and supper. You can never run out of good food to eat in Penang, and everyone was wise enough to carpe that diem. We were transported around the island in the seven-seater Bellyn was driving, during which it was a constant jamming out session in the car accompanied by Taliza’s DJ-ing skills on the bluetooth-equipped car radio from early morning till after midnight.

Our first real day in Penang started with us going to the Chew Jetty (where we were joined by Ziyun) and subsequently the Made In Penang 3D Interactive Museum, a visit which turned out to be rather interesting. I’ve come up with the theory that the bunch of us are the literal embodiment of chaos walking, bringing fun and joy and laughter (lol) everywhere we go.

Credit to Bellyn
Credit to Bellyn | Ian and Bellyn

It was also on this day that I was introduced to this little alleyway place where they serve steamed/toast bread with half-boiled eggs in little mugs and coffee and despite the size and location of the “cafe”, it’s one of my favourite joints on the trip.

Credit to Bellyn | Harris and Ken Fui enjoying their coffee (perhaps a little too much)

Love Lane was also one of the places in Penang that we visited, where hormones started flying in the air and lines were blurred as the guys made outrageous, Nicholas Sparks-esque romantic poses/gestures in pairs under the Love Lane sign.

Credit to Bellyn | Ian and Harris; things got a little steamy at Love Lane

Bellyn, Taliza and I also had a HAIM photoshoot.

Besides eating and occasionally sight-seeing, we also went cafe-hopping. One of the cafes we went to is called Sip & Chew. This was when one of the biggest unicorn moment of my life happened: two shops away from Sip & Chew where Bellyn dropped us off to find parking is a really cute children’s bookshop. Our interest piqued, Taliza and I immediately ventured forward because of the adorable decorations and also because of the mere fact that it was a bookshop. The owner, a Chinese man in his late forties, I would say, welcomed us really warmly and I liked the place and the owner already, never mind that we were also greeted by a huge Urbanscapes poster by the entrance which we were always excited about. And then when everyone entered, Ken Fui’s sudden exclamation caught everyone’s attention and it turned out that the owner is actually Ken Fui’s uncle and his only relative in Penang. The coincidence! A lot more exclamations ensued, as well as multiple phone calls, and the atmosphere in the bookshop was just simply amazing. Never mind that when I started flipping through the children’s books, a lot of them were actual gold in terms of content and I doubt anyone can find children’s books of that sort anywhere else anymore.

Credit to Bellyn | Ken Fui and his uncle aka the owner of the bookshop

After saying our farewells, we thanked Ken Fui’s uncle and headed for Sip & Chew, where they were playing Birdy’s songs when we stepped in. 1901, specifically, which was one of the last songs we just listened to in the car before we arrived. We also had good ice cream and the moment was just perfect.

At night, we went to another cafe called Piknik and before we left we had a dance party to the sounds of our own laughter and heartbeats.

Credit to Bellyn

The first thing on our agenda the next day was– the beach! The Batu Ferringhi beach, to be specific. There, I went parasailing for the first time together with Taliza, and although I was absolutely terrified at first, I was encouraged by Tris’ courage and bravery since joining Dauntless (I was rereading Divergent at that time) and told myself that if Tris could do it, I could, too. So I did. And it was one of the best feelings in the world, I kid you not. We were both screaming when we ascended into the sky together, but then the screams of terror turned into screams of euphoria and I felt larger than life up in the air.

Credit to Harris

After the beach, we went to Straits Quay, where I got myself a Christmas jumper to get myself into the festive mood (as if I wasn’t in the mood already). We then went on more food ventures (do take note that the rest of the time we weren’t doing any of the things I’ve mentioned above was spent eating) (I wish I was exaggerating) and then went to Gurney Paragon at night. Our last stop before heading back is another one of Bellyn’s frequent joints, a dessert house called Crepe Cottage at Gurney.

That night, Taliza, Ken Fui, Harris, Rynn, Danny and I stayed up till 3AM playing Monopoly aka the game that ruins friendships. By that time, most of us were just delirious from tiredness and everything seemed funnier than usual. I imagine that must be what being drunk feels like, but then again I wouldn’t and couldn’t know.

The phrase “last day” was thrown around frequently the following morning, because that was exactly what it was, our last day in Penang. After having three breakfast courses (again), we went to Ghee Hiang biscuit shop before heading for our last stop in Penang: Queensbay Mall. We said our goodbyes to Bellyn there, the atmosphere beginning to get emotional with every second, and then it was my turn to say goodbye to all of them, as they would be taking the Aeroline bus back to KL at 4.30PM. After saying my farewells, I went to meet my parents who had already arrived hours ago and started to feel slivers of post-road-trip depression sinking in.

This class road trip is definitely one of the highlights of the year, and I’ve had my fair share of infinite moments during the trip. Here, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who joined the trip for bearing with my antics the entire time and especially Bellyn for letting us stay at your humble abode for three nights as well as transporting us around the island for three days straight. I’m so thankful for all these amazing people I’ve met at Sunway and dare I say they’re one of the best things to have happened to me ever? Yes, I dare. I also like to think that I’ve picked up several courage lessons along the way and some of that never hurt anyone.

Bellyn made these cool videos.

is it the glow that keeps you moving?

(Credit to Taliza) Bellyn, yours truly and Taliza testing out our Destiny Child’s potential skills through Irfan’s bedroom windows post-exams

Late night blogging again. I still remember my secondary school days when I would stay up till 2AM to write about emotions and feelings that were only experienced at that time of night.

I think I’m doing the same thing again.

I’m home now, properly home, although it will only be like that for a day until I get whisked off away again to a three-day Thai cruise trip. Prior to this, I only just came back from a six-day class trip, majority of which was spent at Penang with my classmates. It was great and all kinds of amazing and I left the island and the people of the trip with hugely conflicting emotions.

On one hand, it’s amazing to be able to share infinite moments with people you like, but on the other you are also constantly reminded of your own flaws as you compare yourself with everyone around you who are infinitely more talented than you are. This feeling is followed by guilt, the guilt of comparing yourself with your friends because you don’t want any animosity or hidden feelings between your friends and yourself; yet you can’t help it. The persistence of feeling inadequate almost your whole life has led yourself to believe you are less worthy of these people’s company, and then you start to wonder how they do it so effortlessly. Is it the way they dress? The way they talk? The way they laugh at people’s jokes or don’t? And slowly your actions start to mirror their actions, they way you talk, they way you walk, but still it doesn’t work for you. And why don’t these people that you like so much like you back the same way? And you’re left wondering what exactly it is about you that repel so many people away even upon first impression.

All these shebang, when all you want is just a friend whose actions and/or words you don’t have to second guess all the time and figure out the presence or absence of an ulterior meaning.

Overanalysing too many details is not very nice, but the more I push it away, the more I’m reminded of having to do it out of habit.

Heightened emotions, man. Who invented them.

Two Videos, Several Milestones

For three weeks, Bellyn and I have been shooting for a video called “Sh*t A-Levels Students Say” (which is, as you can see above, more politely renamed as “Stuff A-Levels Students Say”) as a project for our ALSTAR group. It’s quite a funny story, how the video turned out to be a video because we initially had a scriptwriting committee but in the end the presence of a script…eventually…got erased from our memories…and we found it well, easier to shoot impromptu scenes with ideas that were come up with right on the spot. And the end result is this. I was audio manager for the project, which means that I used my phone to record the actors’ voices as Bellyn filmed them. The only other time I’ve ever done anything of the sort was at YNN Camp and that didn’t really turn out quite well with me behind the camera, but I daresay this time was much better. It was pretty fun running around thinking of wacky, not-lame ideas and watch the torturous expressions on the actors’ faces as we asked them to repeat the scene again and again and again.

On the day of the video’s “premiere”,  Bellyn went around all the NWG classes and played the video on the projector screen for everyone to see, and the both of us (plus a couple of our classmates) would just stand outside, peeping into the classrooms through the glass panels, observing their reactions and feel our hearts expand just a nanometer more everytime someone laughed. Of course, the whole idea wouldn’t have been able to be materialised into something that actually exists on the Internet now if it weren’t for Bellyn so let’s just all take another moment to appreciate her great videography and her great everything.

The second video isn’t as grand and majestic as the first, considering how I spent about two days compiling all the videos I have on my phone into a single montage with an app called Splice (which is A+ for people like me who a) don’t have a MacBook and b) have a very laggy PC with an even laggy-er Windows Movie Maker). The main reason I made this video, to be honest, is to send in to Dan and Phil’s radio show (which, I found out from Sakina, they didn’t show during their radio show last night aw sadface) and partially also because it was pretty funny and fun since it’s basically a montage of (1/50 of) my life. If I could sum up the video in three words, it would be: singing, dogs and random walking shots. Also, watch with your own discretion, I guess.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot yourself in the video! (Please contact me if you wish to have the video taken down because I just realised I didn’t ask anyone’s permission to post footage of themselves online oh god)

People/dogs in the video (in order of appearance): Bon Bon, Diyani, Lailati, Daddy (:~D), Ati-K, Aifa, Farhanah, Sarah, Anum, Khey Ken, Jia Yuan, Ryan Tedder (whoops), Lady, David Chee, Kak Mariatul Dianah, Mummy (:~D), Heart, Sakina Jumat, Paramore (double whoops), Tan Boon Ping, Yi Jing, Lee Zong Jun, (1/4 of) Chin Pei Ying, Laila, Rumin, Taliza Kitman (by extension: Ian Shih, Ken Fui and Karu) and A LOT OF MY FACE EW

The milestones I mentioned in the title above comprise of several things, one of those being Careful Confessions hit 100,000 views! It happened just two days ago, I think, and it’s amazing to think how many people in the entire world have read these words I’ve written, digested them, and then formed thoughts and opinions of their own based off mine. It’s crazy. All in the span of a mere five years, too. I still remember the very first day I created this blog: I was at Old Town (which doesn’t exist anymore) at the newly built Tesco in Alor Setar, taking advantage of the cafe’s free wifi by offering three bucks in exchange for a hot chocolate drink. It was then that I discovered someone who I was “researching” had a blog on this very blogging platform, WordPress, and I was instantaneously encouraged to make a blog of my own. And here I am, five years later, sitting in my hostel room, taking a short break from math revision to write this overdue blogpost. I still remember in the very few posts I first wrote, I wrote as if addressing an audience of thousands even though only four to five of my classmates then had the URL of this blog. I didn’t really write for anyone back then, more for my own amusement than anything else. Sometimes I miss those days when the pressure of a fixed audience was non-existent and I was able to write and post anything, but having an audience over the past few years has greatly boosted my confidence to voice out my opinions so it’s not entirely a bad thing. Happy 100k views, CC! Here’s to another 100k.

Following the “Stuff A Levels Students Say” video premiere, it was just a relentless routine of refreshing the youtube page and smiling to ourselves and having mini celebrations each time we saw the views go up. As of this moment, it has 6,541 views and that’s some pretty impressive feat right there.

Other milestones aren’t so numerical and physical, but more of a personal achievement kinda thing where I try to involve myself in discussions which aren’t purely gossip (because we all know how we cannot live without gossip) and also “bond” with people beyond the shallow surface of just saying hi whenever we walk past each other, which, according to John Green who coined this term as a metaphor for human connections in Paper Towns, is like sharing vessels. Now, honestly, don’t take this in the wrong direction at all, because what I’m trying to say is I’ve come to realise how reliant our own personalities are on human connections, which can both be a good and bad thing, but nonetheless very surreal and amazing. When you find someone who has a core similar to yours, and you can actually sense the depth of the conversation you are having with them instead of just staring soullessly into their eyes and feel your words not reach them. (Very hardcore stuff, if you get what I mean. Which you probably don’t. Because it’s an inside joke.)

Okay, I should probably publish this post now before my laptop goes into another blue screen mode which 1) happened while I was writing this blogpost (thank goodness for autosave) 2) has happened twice already in the span of five hours 3) kind of indicates that I might need a new laptop, maybe?

It Feels Like Home



I mean, it doesn’t always feel like home all the time, of course, but it’s enough that I feel comfortable and very much enjoy the company of my classmates. Classes don’t just feel like mere lessons where the lecturer drawls on and on either, more like a voyage or even simpler, a road trip where we’re all sitting in the back seat arguing over what to listen to on the radio or snatching packets of chips amongst ourselves; classes where our lecturers are also participants of this little road trip we have, so that no one is left out.

And then there are the crazier moments spent outside of class where anything at all could happen. I’ve not only been taken out of my comfort zone, but its also been stomped on and pulverized several times that sometimes I just feel like a fish out of water, out of the mundane routine I follow in my natural habitat. But sometimes it’s refreshing, like taking a fresh drag of breath after living in under-oxgygenated water for so long. Both frightening and exhilarating. And I think that’s what makes each day a brand new one that is anticipated to be filled with different challenges, different situations and different topics to share my two cents about. It’s taught me to fulfil both aspects of input and output, to share but also to listen, to catch with both hands what is thrown my way, to participate and contribute as a body and not confining myself to the bare four walls of my room and the everglowing light of my laptop screen.

young hearts beat fast

Today was one of the best days of college yet, and I think I deserve it after the rough week I had last week.

Classes were as usual this morning, and even something funny happened during econs today. In lieu of the recent econs test we had, Miss Cherilyn made all of us write down all four points of “The Paragraph Pledge” on a blank piece of paper (it basically contains sentences like “From now on, I promise to use proper paragraphing in my essay; I will not explain or discuss all discussion points in one paragraph etc), recite it one by one as a class, and then got all of us to stand up and read out the pledge with our right hands raised and all while she recorded our oath-reading on her iPad as solid evidence. It was so amusing and everyone just couldn’t stop laughing the entire time.

After classes ended, it was time for the Halloween flashmob dance we’ve been preparing for about two weeks already. It was quite scary and nerve-wrecking because it was carried out at the foyer where everyone was. All of us had masks on (including masquerade masks, Guy Fawkes’ masks, Grim Reaper masks), dressed in black and dancing along to Ramalama Bang Bang in front of I would say 30% of the Sunway student population. After it was over, we caught the adrenaline of finishing a performance and returning to the classroom where we kept all our belongings, we continued the dancing spree, this time to songs like Single Ladies, Macarena, the Ketchup Song etc and we basically made up new moves of our own to cover up moves we didn’t know until we got to the chorus part. We even had a light-strobe-in-the-dark mini rave party to Avicii and I think I’ve found my first infinite moment in college thus far.

Yours truly and Taliza
Qiu Jing, Zi Tian and yours truly

After that, most of us headed to Ken Fui’s house to help out with the Halloween Haunted House preparations. We basically stayed there for four hours and I even had the chance to duet with Bellyn to Breaking Free while we struggled with our Chemistry homework.

But these aren’t the only good parts of today: my classes commence at 11am tomorrow (PROBABLY THE ONLY TIME I WILL EVER GET TO SLEEP IN ON A SCHOOL DAY) and I’M GOING TO ONEREPUBLIC’S CONCERT AT SURF BEACH TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(More photos will be uploaded soon)




I think starting from now onwards, I’m gonna try to include at least a photo in each blogpost I write. Being around a photographer for long periods of time has made me develop an affinity towards photography (see, that’s the one of the most wonderful things in life; we take a little bit of each other and grow into it. It’s like…retweeting and reblogging. But in real life.) and since I like to think I’ve developed a new audience among my college mates, maybe these photos could give you insight into my “previous pre-college life”.

A little backstory to the photo: the year was 2011, I was writing an article about SlutWalk for Stuff@School under The Star’s Starstruck! Young Journalist Programme and decided to do this photoshoot with my neighbours which ended up becoming the cover of the issue. I, the initiate of the photoshoot, was actually late to it because I’d just gotten home from school, hurriedly changed into a dress and used these handdrawn signs I did the previous night as props as seen in real SlutWalks. (Little info on SlutWalk if you don’t know what it is: it’s an international annual event which takes place in many countries, where women take the streets with signs like the ones above^ [mostly scantily-clad] to protest against sexism and rape culture.) It was a pretty awkward photoshoot because we didn’t really know what to do so in the end we just tried to look both natural and cool at the same time so this is how it turned out. Pretty fabulously, I should say. Extra input: I wish SlutWalks were carried out in Malaysia (tough chance) because it still astounds me how ignorant so many people are about ongoing sexism in the world.

A little backstory to the title: one thing I’ve learned so far: if you ever find a conversational partner with whom you can hold a conversation for long and comfortably with, keep them. It’s hard to come by people like that, people with similar wavelengths and once you do, I think it’s a very rewarding experience. Like I said before, people give and take and the more you take, the more you give as well. It’s the best form of currency yet.





10471793954_ae1a6a9461_zThe past week of college has been (besides the compulsory seven hours of classes we had to endure everyday) encompassed by photoshoots with Bellyn at random places in college for my lookbook account (I keep spamming this at y’all I’m sorry for my narcissism but I’m kind of proud of these shots and especially Bellyn [and also myself ok allow myself this moment of self-appreciation]), which earned me a lot of weird stares from the population of Sunway College but it was all worth it. Besides enjoying dressing up to college everyday, I also got to discover secret hideouts in the college that I never knew existed before. It was probably the only good thing that came out of this rough week.

Last night, Hoon Jie Jie took me around KL city to explore the hidden depths of the clockworks that make this city tick. Okay, maybe not so hidden since the first place we went to was KLCC but I enjoyed it quite a lot because I actually discovered so many places in KL that I didn’t know existed (patriotism, I might only have about 6% of it). It felt very touristy, but I’ve learned to not care. It’s easier to not care about what people you don’t know think of you, but quite the opposite for those you know and have come to like. It’s alright though, I’m still learning, just like everyone else.

Yesterday, Taliza said, “You’re one of the few people who actually feel comfortable in their own skin” and that kind of struck me. I’ve done this before. Maybe I could sharpen that blade that I’ve always wielded (but failed to put out at the current moment). Someone once told me that in order to be happy with other people, you’ve first got to be happy with yourself. Maybe I’ve got to take that first step first.

pretty ironic

that I’m writing this on the third day of being a model but to be fair, it has nothing to do with physical appearances.

I can safely say I’m pretty happy and confident about my physical appearance (if not why the influx of lookbook photos I’ve been spamming y’all with right) and I know there’s not much I can do to alter the flaws I’ve been given together with this body; hence, I’m pretty thankful I am the way I look, so whenever anyone questions my height or weight I don’t really allow myself the capacity to be angry or sad or frustrated. I think I’m allowed that at the very least after a few years of abhorring my weight and constantly questioning why can’t I be as pretty as so and so etc.

But it’s not the outside I’m insecure about. It’s the inside. Coming to college, especially, has made me think a lot about this. It’s kind of hard not to, since I’m meeting so many new people. At many points in my life, I was convinced that everyone here hated me. My classmates, my housemates, even people I don’t know. I didn’t know if it was because I’ve had a change in personality (why didn’t this happen back in high school?) or it’s the environment or just growing up. Since forever, I’ve always been paranoid about what other people think of me, and there’s always this beckoning urge to please and make everyone around me happy even if I myself am not. Hence why I very seldom express true opinions on my own- unless it’s on the Internet then I have my Internet profile as a façade to protect myself from criticisms and disagreements.

I said this on twitter the other day, that I expect other people to invest as heavily in me as I do in them, but I realise that’s really far-fetched considering how my strong sentimentality and emotionality is not a common factor among the general teen-going-on-adult population, and thus many wouldn’t be able to comprehend. I just sound conceited at this point, but if my observations thus far are genuine, I’ve yet to met a similar person yet. As a result of this eternal fixed distance between me and whoever, there’ll always be this strong wariness and sensitivity that any motion or comment at all from the opposite party might stem from the annoyance of interacting  or even just standing within the vicinity of me. It’s terrible. I mean, I’m working on it, but it’s terrible. To put it simply, I’m terrified of being hated but am not afraid to do so, which is a very hypocritical move and I judge myself strongly because of that.

And then there’s the constant reminder that I am the perfect example of a jack of all trades but master of none. There are so many talented people that are especially great at a particular field and there’s just me dabbling in everything but never really being able to come up with a true talent that I am able to present to others, at least. All talk but no genuine material. I mean, whatever I can do, almost everyone else can do it better. It feels shit not being a reliable source to others.

Sometimes all I want to do is pack up and leave for home, where I was cocooned within safely for six months, away from the prying eyes and judgments from the cruel hearts of society.

PS. RIP Golden, my faithful canine buddy for 10 years. You will be, and are missed.

Nuffnang Food Fest 2013 (among other things)

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately and I apologise; college has been really hectic but a good kind of hectic though. According to Elya, I’m a “social butterfly” now and one of the “social events” I went to during the course of this week is the Nuffnang Food Fest 2013 event at Sunway Pyramid.

There was no real intention to attend the event at first, but then I thought five hours of marathoning Avatar: The Last Airbender alone in my dark room wasn’t exactly very productive so in the end, Pei Ying, Rumin, Zi Tian and I decided to go to the Food Fest because a) why not and b) free food.

Rumin, yours truly and Pei Ying; all in flowing skirts (I actually forgot what they’re called)

The place was full of people; and how could it not be? Free food attracts anyone anywhere. Later on, we found out this “fest” was conducted with the usage of social media sharing as currency. In simpler words, everything is free with the condition that you tweet or share a status/like the vendor’s page on Facebook with certain hashtags and/or captions. Hence, if any one stranger happened to stumble upon this carnival without any preceding warning about the rules accompanying this event, all they would see is a huge crowd of people typing away on their smartphones or taking random photos of food while waiting in line to show the vendors what they had just typed or photographed. It was pretty unbelievable to me at first, because these food items came at no cost- except for the tweets and Facebook statuses we were sharing out in real time.

photo 1 photo 2

Example of the terms of trade involved in this business transaction (whoaaa watch out we got an economics student here)
Example of the terms of trade involved in this business transaction (whoaaa watch out we got an economics student here)

photo 4 photo 5

Genuine real legitimate NASI LEMAK ICE CREAM at Cielo Dolci (which had sambal and nuts and everything and HOW DOES SCIENCE WORK)
Genuine real legitimate NASI LEMAK ICE CREAM at Cielo Dolci (which had sambal and nuts and everything and HOW DOES SCIENCE WORK)

And then I met Audrey, a pretty well-known Malaysian blogger who also goes by the pseudonym fourfeetninealso wife of Timothy Tiah, co-founder of Nuffnang itself. She was lovely, even though I was super nervous to get a photo with her at first because she was surrounded by a group of people who made my self-esteem plummet sixteen feet under because I was but a mere simpleton in a crowd of famous bloggers.

Audrey (fourfeetnine) and yours truly
Would I make a good Chatime ambassador (just a suggestion) (I had to take this photo to get a free Chatime drink) (I don’t actually think I would be a good face for Chatime) (That would kinda pull down their business soz)

I personally think the idea of this whole event is genius; in this era where individuals can make a living out of blogging and/or vlogging alone, no one should ever underestimate the power of social media. It was pretty clever of them to “buy” customers for free and get them to do all the publicity work indirectly at such a grand scale. All in all, it was a win-win situation for both parties involved.

By the time I finished touring the whole place, I was already pretty full even though the food they gave out came in really tiny portions. So after that, since it was a Saturday night, we went on a spontaneous decision to watch a movie…but not before exploring the Sunsilk booth at the Orange Atrium where they were having a sale or something. Apparently, if you bought RM30 and above’s worth of Sunsilk products, you get a free hair makeover. So that’s what I did.

Pre-hair fix
Post-hair fix

And then we went to watch About Time, a brilliant movie that made me look at the journey of life in a different, more eye-opening perspective. It reminded me very much of a Jodi Picoult-esque novel, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was indeed the movie scriptwriter.

Also, why is it that Rachel McAdams always play the role of the wife of an awkward dude who can travel through time

Rumin, Pei Ying, yours truly and Yi Jing

So that was the end of my supposedly “socially active” weekend. There’s still a Dogathon post to come, which I guess boosts my social points even more? I don’t know, I just see this as an opportunity to expand my horizons and meet more people and do more things which I previously wouldn’t have had the chance to do. So I guess you can say I’ve been busily living my life now. Wow.

Life In Technicolour

I tried combining “technicolour” and “Instagram” to sound witty but it just sounds terrible.

One. My expression does not do my excitement for the release of the One Direction movie justice but please do understand that there were a lot of people around and I don’t think Malaysians in particular fathom the needs of a rabid fangirl very well. Anyway, we went to watch City of Bones and it was fantastic and did the book justice, despite the many negative reviews I’ve heard. 10/10 would recommend.

Two. The next day, a Saturday, Yi Jing, Rumin, Pei Ying and I joined the Teach For Malaysia Summit 2013 at Sunway International School as a Sunway volunteer and even though it was more tedious than I’d expected, it was still pretty cool and fun and it was an experience like no other, particularly since I was joining a teachers’ conference for teachers from a student’s perspective, and everyone was basically discussing about students aka me.

Three. Ken Fui suggested a clothing theme for our class on Monday, which is Emo Day (the theme I mean, not the day) and basically it was just getting everyone to wear black except for Janesh who was to wear white because he is the President of ALSCO. (Speaking of ALSCO, I didn’t get in.) It was mighty fun and I even got Zi Tian to draw a fake sailor tattoo for me so I could be Harry Styles for the day, complete with the Ramones shirt and all.

Four. This badge is one of the many goodies I got from the first day of Recruitment Drive which is today. Nothing much to say about the badge, but I’m using it as a photo to talk about A Levels in general and I have three upcoming tests continuously this week and oh myyyy goddddddd