Always Darkest Before the Dawn (Internship Day Fifteen to Seventeen)

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Internship Day Fifteen- 13/12, Tuesday

Monday was an off day for us from the first and second batch but the third batch, the Form 5 Starstruckers and Eibhlin still had to go to work (and they got to interview the author of Beautiful Creatures, Margaret Stohl! How is that fair!). The third batch consists of Amanda Ng, Ellora Chua, Ann-Marie Khor, Kyle Chan, Cheng Ju Mei, June Lee and Eibhlin Lim.

That morning, I saw Ann-Marie, Ju Mei, June and Eibhlin for the first time and that “OMG YOU GUYS ARE REAL PEOPLE AND NOT JUST FACEBOOK PROFILES” feeling returned. At around 11 AM, Anne made a sudden announcement that there would be a trip to Dewan Negara/Parliament that morning, but since me and most of the other interns weren’t in suitable attires for the Parliament, only Paik Suan, June and Eibhlin were granted permission to enter the building.

Minus the three of them, the 11 of us had lunch together at the cafeteria where we told them about our experiences so far and pretty much just laughed and joked around like old friends who hadn’t seen each other for years (well for some of them, it’s six months).

Then, we also found out astounding news about us from a very nice and professional senior journalist. Thank you, man, seriously.

Ellora, Kyle, June, Paik Suan and I were in Features that week, but since Kyle, June and Paik Suan made the first trip to the Parliament, Sharmilla (one of the editors at Features) gave Ellora and I an assignment to sort out entries for a book survey they did in The Star.

When June, Paik Suan and Eibhlin returned, Anne and Jeannette held a brief meeting at Level 3 and basic words simply cannot describe the laughfest and chaos that happened. Put 14 rambunctious teenagers with high sugar levels into one room and this is what you get:

http://twitter.com/#!/ss_kyle/status/146500305243209730

The day pretty much went on like that, as we crazy interns, previously power of four now boosted to power of fourteen, etched our marks at Level 3A of Menara Star by being the high-spirited and energetic kids we are.

Ann-Marie, Min Hui, Amanda, Amelia and a herpderp yours truly. Taken by Ju Mei.

Internship Day Sixteen- 14/12, Wednesday

On that day, the remaining 10 of us (Amelia couldn’t turn up) got the chance to enter Parliament. It was a 10-minute ride there, and when we reached the building, we found out we had to hand over all electronic devices to security and leave all bags in a lockers (seriously) then only were we allowed to enter.

Min Hui was a “model” doing “catwalks” that day because she’d borrowed stilettos from Jeannette and had difficulty walking in them (“My feet are in pain,” said 16-year-old Lee Min Hui who, at a point, even took off her heels to run across a corridor to catch up with the others).

In the Parliament room, the “debate” that was going on while we entered was concerning the usage of BM in Malaysia and how English is overriding our national language even on road signs, billboards etc when the irony of it all was right in front of their faces– the clock on both sides of the room walls showed “11.57 AM, Wed, Dec”.

After that, it was a no-go for our attention spans and we found ourselves starting to fidget and whisper and pass notes and occasionally when my conscience kicked in guiltily, I would stop to focus on the speaker but realised it was the same ol’ nonsense they’ve been spewing for years, so I proceeded to tune them out and resume my fidgeting and whispering and passing of notes.

We left early because it was getting unbearable in there. Amanda, Ann-Marie and Min Hui left in a cab to continue their next assignment whereas the rest of us returned to Menara Star by the same van. Nothing much happened that day, but I managed to finish Sharmilla’s assignment as well as half of my personal story before going home.

That night, Paik Suan just had to remind me of the time we have left (five days) by posting this picture on Facebook:

Photo (c) Paik Suan.

Internship Day Seventeen- 15/12, Thursday

Today officially marks the last day of my internship, along with Paik Suan, Min Hui, Claire and Vincent because for the next four days, we’ll be joining a Young News Network camp in Pahang. Tomorrow’s the first day but we’ll only be leaving for 8 Acres (a campsite somewhere in the forest where, according to Yee Lisan, one of the people in charge of YNN, cannot be found even on Google Maps) on Saturday morning.

The previous day, Jeannette told us that there would be a photoshoot for the cover of the first issue of Stuff@School next year so that was the first thing on our agenda for the day. Only Ellora, Paik Suan, June, Kyle, Amanda, Min Hui and I were involved in the photoshoot because Jeannette didn’t want the cover to be too crowded.

(Photo will posted here once it’s out.)

After that, we had lunch and since I still had RM 50+ worth of coupons and it’s already my last day of internship, I belanja-ed everyone a bottle of Minute Maid and it felt awesome. Being nice is awesome. (Lol.)

After that, we went back to Level 3A and both Ellora and I were given a new assignment by Ann Marie Chandy (another editor) to search for a new theme for the Silver Scream section. In the end, we decided on Nicholas Sparks’ book-to-movie adaptations and I reviewed The Last Song (it was okay) and Dear John (it was not okay) whereas Ellora reviewed The Notebook and A Walk To Remember.

The first day of YNN officially starts tomorrow!

EDIT: This post was supposed to be published yesterday but this went down: I was halfway through this post when I suddenly felt something pressed against my chest and I found it hard to breathe and I started to panic as I shut everything down. I wanted to just forget it and maybe just sleep it away so I thought maybe I’ll just play Temple Run to calm my nerves for a while until I’m relaxed enough to go to sleep but the paranoid parrot in me kept reminding me of my pain and the possible outcomes of my ignorance, eg. a full-force pneumonia which would lead to death. I really, really thought I was going to die last night. It was frightening. The fact that San Ku and Hoon Jie Jie were both unwell and already asleep made things worse. However, in the end, I had to wake Hoon Jie Jie up anyway even though she was sick with a cough and flu (I’m so, so sorry) and she had to drive me to the emergency area at Damansara Specialist Hospital where they did a check up for me and told me I was okay but after consultation, the doctor said it was probably a normal case of acid reflex. So apparently, it’s all fine and dandy but I still needed to get an injection (three full syringes) which would be the first one I’ve had all year long.

But I’m fine and all that now. Just my paranoia making life harder again.

Tomorrow me and 30 other teenagers will be heading for Bentong, Pahang and you know what that means! No Internet! So I will be AWOL from the Internet universe for three days until I return in the evening of Monday.

Today has been amazing. I’m drafting it.

I also can’t believe that I’m leaving soon. Halfway through dinner, this realisation really hit me on the head with such force that nausea overwhelmed me for a moment before I forced those thoughts out of my head. I’m not exactly prepared for a post-internship depression period when I get home.

Internship Day Ten to Fourteen

Internship Day Ten- 5/12, Monday

First day at Education Desk! This time, Min Hui and Claire were switched to Features Desk and Paik Suan (who was originally at Business Desk) and I to Education Desk. On that day, the second batch of Starstruck! writers arrived: Alicia Nicholle and Amelia Henderson. Both of them plus Vincent were at Newsdesk.

The day before, Chelsea (The OC of Edu Desk) had already given me assignments through email which is interviewing three mothers for easy and healthy recipes to be published in the Smart Snacks column. I interviewed Mum, Ju Mei (not a mother, I know, but a teenager which makes it better because the recipes are supposed to be for young students and undergrads who er…don’t know how to cook) and Min Hui’s mum.

Nothing eventful happened for the day. (I define “eventful” as going out for assignments.) However, these two events did happen:

#1. Jeannette asked if I wanted to do a book review for Write Reads in Stuff@School and I said yes, so I chose Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi because Harper Collins had tweeted about the newly released book and I wanted to find out if it was as good as the people at Harper Collins had said (hint: no). Later, my spirits rose when I found out I could keep the book! Astounding news!

#2. All four of us, Min Hui, Paik Suan, Claire and I had a huge laughfest. I don’t really want to talk about the main reason that caused the laughfest because despite it being a laughfest, it was actually quite er…controversial. But it was Paik Suan (supposedly the leader of the Circle of Hate which subsequently changed into the Circle of Love) who started the passionate and heated debate which brought tears to her eyes (“Those were tears from laughing too hard! Seriously! I have really, really sensitive eyes!”), and then the laughfest heightened with the appearance of a scary Claire-lookalike and then heightened even more when I introduced Min Hui to the existence of a particular Harry Potter fanfic (snigger) and we couldn’t stop laughing for about half an hour. I realise that we were once again nuisances to everyone on the floor and I sincerely apologise.

Highlights of the laughfest through tweets:

Internship Day Eleven- 6/12, Tuesday

Day Eleven saw me waking up to this tweet…

…and my day got better instantly.

The day at the office was uneventful too, and I spent the whole day finishing up my first email mythbuster article and coming up with a topic for my personal story. Sitting next to Paik Suan (who was typing away ceaselessly on the computer) made me feel like the worst and most unproductive procrastinator ever. Thanks, Paik Suan.

We also found out Jeannette and Anne were designing Starstruck! T-shirts for us Starstruckers! Brilliant!

That night, with In The Mourning constantly on repeat, I had to crop an image of a cockroach by its borders (not a very entertaining activity for a katsaridaphobe like me) for my email mythbuster article and safe to say, it was the most traumatizing experience I’ve ever had to endure ever since I came to KL.

(Curious about aforementioned traumatizing picture? Click here!)

Internship Day Twelve- 7/12, Wednesday

Our assignment for the day was to attend the Memorandum of Cooperation Signing Ceremony between KDU University College and ECM Libra Foundation. Both companies were collaborating to to provide a bursary and loan scheme to underprivileged children in developing towns. It was an interesting ceremony, to be fairly honest, contrary to the fact that it was described as “dry and boring” before we left for the assignment. But you know the real thrilling treat of the day?

We had lunch at this prestigious and high-class Italian restaurant called Pietro and…

Wait for it…

…it was free!

Free, delicious, four-coursed, Italian gourmet food that made Paik Suan and I gasp at each other in awe and amazement after taking a bite of each dish. The first course was a round of antipasti (an Italian appetizer of bread with various dishes such as black peppered vegetables, cubed cheese, fresh prawns, fried squid etc) which was, truthfully, a new experience for me. The second round was mushroom soup so glorious and heavenly it left me begging for more. The third course was a huge plate of chicken steak and pasta which was, admittedly, too large a portion but was still delizioso. The last course was the best of all: creamy, vanilla gelato with strawberries. The sweet vanilla ice cream blended with the fresh, sour taste of strawberries which led to a divine explosion in my mouth.

We both agreed it was the best lunch we’ve ever had since November 21st.

The company was good, too! Big names from KDU UC were fascinated that we were only sixteen years old and already working. Words like “scholarship” and “internship” were thrown around fairly often in our conversations and we both knew we’d schmoozed with the right kind of people. It was great.

Internship Day Thirteen- 8/12, Thursday

When I first started this internship, I never dreamt of the day when my assignment would actually involve a trip to a book carnival. Well, guess what?

My assignment on Day Thirteen was a trip to the MPH Carnival at Midvalley! Brillante!

When we got there, the place was already brimming with people. There was no space to move between shelves and the queues at the counters were formidable. Although, admittedly, the carnival proved to be quite a disappointment. The book choices were few and the discounts only went up to 25%. We couldn’t even use our complimentary MPH book vouchers (yes, we got complimentary MPH book vouchers). But in the end, I bought The Hobbit as well as the entire set of Lord of the Rings for…

Wait for it…

forty bucks only.

Granted, it was exactly like the one I already have but forty bucks.

“I had to buy it,” said 16-year-old Michelle Teoh’s obsessive compulsive disorder.

Anyway, we attended the official launch, then proceeded to our second assignment which involved another round of ambushing random people. This time, the ambushees were parents. We were doing a story on parents’ budgets to prepare their kids for next year, and to find out if the RM100 money aid was useful. (To be truthful, non è stato.)

Then came the worst episode of the day: waiting for a cab. When we saw the long queue at the taxi pick-up and also the rain, our spirits dropped instantaneously. Safe to say, from the moment we waited for a cab, took a cab, waited in a cab in a traffic jam to the moment we reached Menara Star, two hours were wasted, just like that. And that is why I will never, ever, ever want to live in KL.

We were exhausted by the time we reached the office and yet we had an 800-word article to churn out. However, my spirits were lifted mildly when we found out there was a Christmas buffet for the staff! It’s wonderful when these little unexpected joyful surprises pop up to add a little colour to your dull day: it’s one of those I-believe-in-the-existence-of-unicorns moments once again.

Christmas tree and decoration on Level 1 of Menara Star.

Later, we found out from Anne that there was even a group of staff from Sunway Resort Hotel who did some caroling at Menara Star! They were also the ones who’d sponsored the Christmas buffet. There was turkey, cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, fruitcakes and candycanes. It was brilliant. I’ve never been more excited for Christmas.

The Star, 9/12/11.

Internship Day Fourteen- 9/12, Friday

We headed for 1Utama at 11.30 AM to continue our parents-ambushing assignment. After that, I stole a few minutes at MPH to spend my MPH vouchers. I bought Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Hence, that would be nine books plus one huge LOTR book set I’m lugging back to Alor Setar. Simply fantastico, Michelle.

I just finished Shatter Me. If you’re planning to pick up that book, don’t. Reading that book literally made me nauseous.

The Star, 9/12/11. That would be Amelia in the picture!

Things to look forward to: meetup with Farhanah and Sarah in the morning at 1Utama on Sunday, meetup with all the Starstruckers in the evening at 1Utama on Sunday, arrival of the Form 5 Starstruckers on Monday and the YNN workshop on Friday.

It astounds me how time flies so quickly. I only have a week left.

LOOK! SNOW! (Internship Day Six to Nine)

What? What are these weird white spots drifting down my computer screen? Is it…snow?

Well, my golly, it sure is! And what does snow mean?

Winter?

And what does winter mean?

CHRISTMAS!!!

Yes, the festive mood is in the air! Old blog readers will notice that I had the snow function turned on as well last December. Now you know why WordPress rules: you get free snow on your blog every December if you’re on WordPress. How badass.

Also, theme change. I changed to this new theme with a darker backdrop so you can see the snow more clearly. I will change it back to Manifest (that’s the totally-white, header-equipped theme I used previously) on the 4th of January when the snow function ends.

Okay, now for those who want to know why I don’t blog about my internship everyday now. I have finally won the battle against my OCD (who wants a post per day) to give you a post per week. Reasons why I don’t want a post per day:

  • Easier for me
  • Less annoying for you

I often come home from work in no mood to write a blogpost, so I’m only going to write about my entire week during the weekends. Which starts today. TGIF, man, TGIF.

Internship Day Six- 29/11, Tuesday

All four of us were divided into two groups again: Min Hui & Paik Suan, Claire and I. Min Hui and Paik Suan followed Yvonne to an event attended by the Minister of Tourism, Dato’ Sri Ng Yen Yen, while Claire and I followed Terrence to an event attended by -le gasp!- Datin Seri Paduka Rosmah Mansor. Before setting off, we did some stalking (or intense researching, as Paik Suan likes to put it) on Rosmah Mansor’s part and needless to say, it was scandalous, indeed.

It took us an hour to arrive at Hulu Langat, where the Girl Guides’ Selangor ‘Turun Padang’ Closing Ceremony officiated by Rosmah Mansor herself was held. By the time we arrived, I was already dizzy with motion sickness, so you know the ride wasn’t really a nice one. It wasn’t Terrence’s fault though. That’s the peculiar thing about my motion sickness, it comes as it likes under any circumstance at all. I even get motion sickness staying at home. This is not your average motion sickness.

But the next hour proved to be entertaining, although, I don’t think I was supposed to be entertained. I don’t think I should write down what exactly happened that proved to be entertainment to me here because my blog is easily Google-able (hahahahahahahahahahahahaha) but if you want to know, ask me next time when we meet and I’ll tell you.

Then, it was another hour-ride back to Menara Star but I felt better this time. We had great conversations with Terrence in the car about movies, TV shows, books, anime, celebrities, books, future careers, KL geography, and did I mention books?

Here, have a photo of Rosmah Mansor:

Internship Day Seven- 30/11, Wednesday

Internship Day Seven is practically crossed off the list. I didn’t go to work that Wednesday because there were still remnants of the previous day’s nausea. It was horrible. I did nothing except sleep the whole day, and when I felt better, I spent the rest of the whole day on Hyperbole And A Half and The Oatmeal.

Internship Day Eight- 1/12, Thursday

That morning, Shah (the associate editor of newsdesk, remember?) gave all of us interns words of advice, about how we should fully use our senses to gain knowledge; because that’s the race we should never give up on: the race to gain knowledge. Then, we were given an assignment to attend a press conference conducted by Datuk Michael Chong at the MCA building. We were led by Shaun, a different senior journalist.

The press conference was held at the Public Services and Complaints Department and there were three cases that afternoon: a woman was charged an exorbitant amount of money for her towed-away car, and the other two were missing person cases; one involved a mentally challenged 37-year-old and another a 14-year-old teenage girl. I really can’t say anything here for reasons similar to the aforementioned Rosmah Mansor event, so ask me this again when you see me. It was equally entertaining and frustrating. I am never going near the Malaysian political field again.

Internship Day Nine- 2/12, Friday

It feels weird to be working on a Friday. Friday’s normally let’s-do-nothing-but-have-fun day back in Alor Setar.

Nevertheless, it was our last day at the newsdesk department and, well, it was quite a sad moment when the realisation hit us because we won’t really be seeing Yvonne or Esther or the other journalists and OCs we’ve grown used to seeing every weekday anymore.

Today’s assignment was another event involving Ng Yen Yen at the National Art Gallery. It was an opening ceremony for Malaysian artist Ali ‘Mabuha’ Rahamad’s art exhibition. Before the ceremony started, we took a look at all of Ali Mabuha’s works and they were disturbing, to be frank. There was a section in which there was a particularly dark and depressing theme to it and Yvonne, Min Hui and I more or less made our own logical interpretations of the art pieces. I wanted to point out that moment because I felt…different after our interpretations. Like there’s something hidden from my sight all along. Artists, how do their brains work?

Then came the highlight of the day, an incident that sent us laughing all the way back to Menara Star. There was this Orlando Bloom lookalike at the gallery and at first sight, Min Hui and Paik Suan started flailing. After that, it was a case of well, stalking Orlando Bloom lookalike all the way into the gallery on the first floor, then out of the gallery, then into the gallery on the second floor, then out of the gallery again, and then waiting near the table where he sat at to have lunch while pretending to be playing Temple Run (that would be Min Hui). I swear, we are such hormonal teenage girls. Back in the car, we told Yvonne about our stalking quest and she just laughed at us and the laughter never ended all the way to Menara Star. It was great.

And that was the end of the days of working at newsdesk. Next stop: education department.

Did I mention that Si Pek, Si Em and Soo Ling are coming to KL tomorrow? Yes!

Internship Day Five

I realise I have not shown Careful Confessions my tag yet so here it is.

I received a text from Anne this morning saying that “Friday is dress down day at The Star” so I decided to wear jeans to work today. Esther was our OC for the day again and she said she will be sending us off with Yvonne to Midvalley on a new assignment as soon as Yvonne checks in at around noon. She was checking in later than usual today because she had to stay at Menara Star till midnight last night to finish her assignments. As usual, echoing Min Hui’s “Interns: forever waiting” slogan, we sat ourselves at the computer terminals until Yvonne arrived at around 1 PM. After lunch, we left for Midvalley at 2 PM.

Our assignment for today was to look out for the latest Christmas deco trend in malls this year. Once again, we were divided into two groups and I went with Paik Suan today while Min Hui went with Claire. What we did was observe the Christmas decorations each shop had put on, interview the shop owners and also customers on their Christmas deco theme for the year, what kind of deco has the highest sales etc. We went into Living Cabin, A Cut Above, Luggage Empire, Sony Centre and Living Quarters in Metrojaya. The only shop that had an obvious prevailing theme was Living Quarters: traditional Christmas VS modern Christmas (which would include White Christmas, Kaleidoscope Christmas etc). We spent quite some time squealing over the fabulous decorations and I even got owls!

However, an issue went down with the manager of Metrojaya but Yvonne got it sorted out quickly. After that, we left at around 4 PM to write our stories at Menara Star.

Highlight of the day: Kyle, also a Starstrucker (and an SPM candidate) had posted a status in which he was asking for dares and the dare which got a minimum of 50 likes, he would do it. During our “hanging out at the computer terminals” session in the morning, we found out that Le Shea had already posted a dare: “I dare you to make a cover of Rebecca Black’s Friday, upload it on Youtube, and at the end of the video, declare your undying love for her.” It was fantastic, since Kyle was famous for constantly serenading us Starstruckers with Friday on the Starstruck! 2011 group wall every Friday. At the time, there were only 19 likes, and, desperate to see Kyle’s rendition of Miss Black’s renowned song, we started going crazy and spread the word all over the Internet universe. By the time we left, there were 21 likes. By the time we got back, there were 48 likes. Fifteen minutes later, goal achieved: 51 likes. We had the time of our lives, laughing and screeching until I was quite sure the other surrounding journalists were already fed up with us. Sorry. But yes, we look forward to Kyle’s video soon. When we told Yvonne about this exciting turn of events, she even said it would make a good story on R.AGE. Things just rose to a whole new level.

It’s finally Friday (oh, the irony) and for once, I can say Thank God It’s Friday! Not that I had a particularly horrible week (quite the opposite) but yeah, I never get to say that back in Alor Setar so yay!

I will also be meeting up with Effie, Ellie and Mei at Midvalley tomorrow! How exciting!

Internship Day Four

One of the many motivational pin-ups on the cabinets above the computer terminals at Newsdesk.

I decided to wear a skirt to office today. I don’t know, random statement.

We hung out around the computer terminals at Newsdesk again today until Yvonne said four of us would be divided into two groups: one group would follow her to a press conference by Datuk Michael Chong, the other would follow another senior journalist named Wani to a Deepavali open house where we will supposedly meet the president of MIC, Dato’ G. Palanivel. We drew lots and Min Hui and I got Palanivel whereas Paik Suan and Claire got Michael Chong.

We left Menara Star with Wani in a cab at around lunchtime. To be honest, we had no idea where we were going and had assumed that it would be a political press conference. Hence, we were genuinely surprised when Wani gave directions to the cab driver to set off for the TNB Headquarters in Bangsar. It appeared that we were attending a Deepavali open house organised by TNB. The hall in which the open house was held was huge and took us by surprise the moment we stepped into it. There were about 50 tables and stalls full of marvelous Indian food outlined the hall. Despite the fact that we already had lunch at the cafeteria back at Menara Star before this, Min Hui and I couldn’t resist ourselves and went for another round, and a huge round at that. If Min Hui was around right now she’d know all the names of the dishes we had but she isn’t so let me just say that the food was heavenly. Free, good Indian food, now where else on Earth can you find that?

With our stomachs full to the brim, we were given tasks by Wani to interview several retirees who were invited to attend the function. Again, butterflies started fluttering in my stomach but as it was with the previous ambush-interviews, I put on a smile and approached this one retiree named Ismail Omar who was the ex-Deputy Chief Engineer of the company. All the retirees were extremely friendly and even quite adorable. Most of their answers to the question “How do you feel being invited to return to such events despite the fact that you’re already retired?” were “I feel happy because it’s one of the few times I get to meet my old friends and colleagues, to see how many are left every year. And I find out that the crowd actually gets smaller every year!”

The second task Wani gave us was to interview several orphans who were invited to the event, during which they were given Deepavali angpaus (Deepaus? Valipaus?). I interviewed two 13-year-olds from the At-Taqwa orphanage/kebajikan centre about how they felt coming here, what they planned to do with the money they received etc.

After we were done with the orphans, we had a brief interview with the Chief Executive Officer of TNB, Dato’ Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh. He was a friendly person and answered all our questions quite enthusiastically. By the time it was time to leave, I was already exhausted. Ah, the life of a journalist.

(“What happened to Palanivel?” Well, Palanivel’s mother passed away the day before so Datuk S. Subramaniam attended the event instead. We didn’t interview him though because he didn’t make a speech as we had initially expected.)

When we returned to Menara Star, I started on the report on the orphans and Min Hui did the one with the retirees and when we were done, we sent them to Wani. Paik Suan and Claire returned a little later than us and we found out that they’d gone to a real press conference (with huge cameras flashing every now and then and reporters jotting down notes at tables provided) and they had to write their reports on the event, too.

One more day until I can say “TGIF!”

Internship Day Three

The morning of day three saw me in bed with a nauseous stomach, a leftover from the previous night. I thought I was going to puke if I even got off the bed but I managed to win the battle and went to work.

Wow, “went to work”. Technically it’s not work because it’s just an internship but wow, work.

Esther was our OC at Newsdesk for the day and she gave us our first, official assignment since we stepped into Menara Star. All four of us were to follow a senior journalist, Yvonne Lim to 1Utama to interview (or rather, “ambush”, as how Yvonne had put it) several teenagers about what they were doing during the holidays. Before that, though, each of us called up a few friends of ours to interview them about their interesting holiday activities and at such a short notice, I could only randomly pick several friends and Anum, who was spending her holidays preparing for F1 Nationals, and Joey, who would be filming a short movie under her school’s Filmmaking Society in December were the unlucky (or lucky, up to you) ones.

We set off for 1Utama at around lunchtime. We headed for the cinema and bowling centre because those were the teenage hotspots and started our “ambushing” quest. To be honest, I felt like a sitting duck as soon as Yvonne said, “You can go try interview random people now” because…well, what if they ran away? What if they just stared at me and I wouldn’t know what to say at all? I didn’t even know what to say! God help me if I started stuttering and made a fool of myself. But as the others started off on their individual quests, I had no choice but to do the same. My first victim was a guy from SMJK Katholik and well, okay, at least my questions were clear and I got answers so not bad huh! My next victims were six 12-year-olds from SJK (C) Yuk Chai who came here as a sort of post-exams-cum-holiday class gathering at the bowling alley. One of the kids, a girl, was particularly enthusiastic and actually fought to be interviewed, exclaiming that, “We’re going to be in the newspaper! We’re going to be in The Star!” Amused by this, I was.

There is one thing about being a journalist (despite being an interned one) that boosts your confidence with each round of interview. One minute I was shaking in my flats, wondering what was going to happen to me if I went up to a random teenager to ask him or her about their activities during the holiday, and then the other I was getting addicted to marching up on random strangers to ask them questions. Done with every interviewee, I hunted for more (that sounded quite wrong but the metaphor is relevant). However, soon, we got the number of people we wanted and it was time to leave.

At Menara Star, we spent the remaining hour typing up short reports on our interviewees’ responses and left for home after we were done. We also managed to help Esther to decorate the mini Christmas tree at Level 5 before leaving.

Decorated by the Starstruck! interns.

My parents left KL at around 1 PM so that night, homesickness made a sudden appearance and I was left with nothing to do but sleep.