Tuesday, 27 July 2010
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So I've returned to Adelaide.

Mind you, I'm not complaining, but I have been pretty busy so far. No, in fact, I'm thankful that I'm busy. Classes started yesterday, and my week continues to Thursday when I finish my last class at 1pm.

Anyway, prior to leaving Adelaide I had cleared almost everything, so my apartment looks almost like when I first moved in. Hence, when I came back, there's the usual settling down things to do.

Which explains why I have been busy for the past few days. The only consolation I have this time is that I know the place better than I did the first time, and so I know where to get the stuffs I need.

And because of all that, it's sad to say that I have neglected my blog because I have not been inspired to write. I do have several drafts, but the mood to write simply hasn't hit me yet. As such, I'll just post a video or two that I find funny:

Have a great week ahead!
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Wednesday, 21 July 2010
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You know how the durian is called the king of fruits?

Of course, that's to people who like it- to people who don't, like yours truly, we can hardly call it the king of fruits, although 'national fruit' seems suitable to me (or should we call it 1Fruit now?)

But the durian is a unique fruit, isn't it? There are people who love it, and there are those who loathe it. I myself never liked it. The smell has always been overpowering. For those of you who like it, don't say a word, but for those of you who don't, you'll get what I mean when I say it's a foul stench.

To the chinese, the durian was considered as 'heaty'. To counteract this, people would normally drink salt water using the durian's husks. I remember enjoying doing this greatly, and so I would tolerate taking a few bites just so I can drink the salt water from the husk. Or perhaps I spit it out and just drank the salt water, I can't really remember.

I remember once, many years ago, when I went to Cameron Highlands, we bumped into a family of European tourists who were being brought around by a local. The tour guide had bought a durian from the stall on the opposite side of the road, and brought it back for them to taste. One sniff brought their nose wrinkling. Then came the tasting. Instead of grabbing it with their hands, they used... spoons! To take a small sample, of course.

Back to the differences of opinion. The durian lovers would of course exclaim 'what! but it's the best thing in the world!' when they hear someone doesn't like durians. It seems impossible for them to understand that some people just can't handle the smell!

Recently, my father had went for the durian eating event at Subang Parade. Seeing the people there, eating the durians with gusto (although I couldn't tell whether it was because of the love for the fruit, or because they paid for it), was indeed very amusing.

But above all that, it is a reminder of home. You know how in Inception, the characters had totems which would tell them whether or not they're in a dream? Well, the traffic jams, incessant honking and so many more, including the smell of durians, are what tells me I'm home.

It's just unfortunate that I'll be heading back to Adelaide tomorrow.
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Saturday, 17 July 2010
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They say that home is where the heart is. Whoever they is, I agree completely with them.

Recently when my flight landed on LCCT, the pilot of the plane had said 'to the non-Malaysians, welcome to Malaysia, and to the Malaysians, welcome home'. That struck a chord in me, for I was very glad to be home indeed.

After going through the cold, cold winter in Adelaide, I was eagerly awaiting to experience the Malaysian weather; I wanted to remind myself what it was like to sweat, and wear shorts and a T-shirt at home without a sweater. As soon as I stepped down on the tarmac, I had this urge to scream. I wanted to yell 'HOME!' and lift my arms up, high in the air. I wanted to close my eyes and soak in the heat, sights and sounds of Malaysia. But of course, I had to restrain myself.

That was, I think, one of the difference of my trip back home from other people. Of course, it's only my first semester so as I grow to like my place I guess I'll slowly stop missing the heat from home.

Then that night itself, I went to a gathering of my close friends, with all but one of them knowing nothing of my return. When I made my appearance known I had received stares of bewilderment, as if they did not recognise me (which later they told me, they really didn't because they were too shocked!), before recognition dawned on them and they started asking me the basic questions of how I came back, how long, etc. The look on their faces when I appeared shall remain in my head, for I did not bring along a camera, and because some things are just best left on its own.

But now, I will be heading back to Adelaide in a few days, and I am dreading it a little. It seems like too short a time for me to be back home, and I'm already missing home. I miss the high speed broadband that had arrived in my house when I left (by the way, who said internet is slow in Malaysia? Back home I can download as many shows as I want, with no download limit), the Astro subscription which had entertained me with so many entertaining and informative programs (like Giuliana & Bill), the flat screen TV (I have to go back to a TV that looks like something from two decades ago), the cetak rompak DVDs, the food and of course, family and friends.

Not once had I wish I was enjoying winter in Adelaide. Sure, I complained about the heat from home, but I would take it anytime over the chilling cold. I just find being hot so much easier to bear than being cold. In addition I had gone out with friends, sometimes late at night, which is not even possible in Adelaide (and probably the rest of Australia) unless it involves alcoholic drinks. Here, I have the adored mamak!

I cannot explain just how happy I was to be back. It just cannot be explained in words. But suffice to say that I very nearly yelled out in joy the moment I set foot on the tarmac.

P.S. Here's an ad from Kit Kat that I absolutely love. The song's stuck in my head, and I can't fail to laugh every time I watch it!  

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Monday, 12 July 2010
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Do you have an older sibling? Or perhaps you're the younger sibling?

I think most people do not realise how much their younger siblings look up to them. I remember that when I was young, I wanted almost everything that my older sister had. Some of them are even downright embarrassing. She went for Japanese classes, I wanted in too. She performed in a musical (I think!), and I wanted to as well.

From recounts told by my mother, and of my own experiences, I have come to the conclusion that my sister probably has the maturity of someone older. Although she goes through normal phases in life, and has the mannerisms of someone her age (or younger), in some ways she reacts to situations in a very different way.

Sometimes I think she has the intelligence of a genius. Growing up, I had to ask her to set up a toy train track for me, which was in the simple shape of an oval. Mum had always said that while my sister analysed problems, I rush into it without thinking first, and if it doesn't work, then I give up. So of course, she could build the track.

But that's not all. For years she also acted as my translator. You see, for a short while in my early years my grandmother took care of both of us while Mum went to work. Unfortunately, I spoke only English, whereas my grandmother spoke only Cantonese. So (according to my mum) whenever I want something or want to tell my grandmother something, or perhaps she me, Sis had to do the translation, as she spoke both languages. This probably continued till I picked up some Cantonese myself, or if the parents are around.

You can probably tell that she has a good grasp of language. I was told that she was reading Enid Blyton books when, at the same age, I was only learning 'this is Peter. This is Jane' (Mum later said that if she were to flip back one page, I would not recall how to read those sentences). Of course, she, too, picked up Hokkien (to converse with my maternal grandparents) faster than me. And that was probably why, coupled with the fact that she's older, that she could always beat me in arguments when we were little. I remember that I got so frustrated every time she managed to silence me, that finally, when the day came that I turned the tables on her, I was ecstatic (though I must say I used her way of arguing against her).

Sis was also a protector of sorts. Throughout my childhood, there was always someone looking out for me. When my parents could not do the job, like when I followed her into her Sunday School classes, or when we went to functions where the children were separated from their parents, most of the time that responsibility fell on her. I probably stuck to her a lot too, considering how shy and timid I was! I remember once when I had vomited during my Sunday School class, and although I had cleaned myself up, I went looking for her as the parents are normally hard to find, especially around the temple.

Throughout the years, we grew into very different individuals, but we still went through many phases in life the same way. We look totally different from each other, behave very differently as well, but beneath that all, is a degree of similarity that I believe only siblings can have.

Happy Birthday, Sis.
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Friday, 9 July 2010
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I love watching this reality show called Giuliana & Bill which documents the lives of Giuliana Rancic, the host of E! News and Bill Rancic, who, if I'm not mistaken, is the first winner of The Apprentice.

It is an absolutely hilarious show. Honestly, every time I watch it I can laugh and laugh and laugh. And I don't just watch an episode once. The chemistry between them is just undeniable; they can make fun of, tease, yell, argue with each other, and still laugh it off later on. Here are some clips of the show:

Originally, that's all that I saw the show as: a very funny reality show, that actually makes me laugh. But the more I watched the show, I realised that there was another aspect of it that highly interested me- the different faces we use in our daily lives.

You see, they were trying to get pregnant; and unfortunately after all their efforts, Giuliana found out that she was not pregnant. She was devastated and didn't know what to do, and at that time her assistant who she's very close with quit. But yet, when she's with her friend who went through fertility treatment, she merely asked about how IVF was like, and didn't mention all the other emotional stress she's in. But when she talks to other people or when she's hosting E! News, she seems cheerful and happy.

I was very interested in the way Giuliana in particular portrayed herself. When she's working, she does not allow her true emotions to show; and with her friends, she might reveal some things, but not all; with Bill however, she shows her true self be it sad and depressed or cheerful and happy.

Bill, too, was the same. When they were both so disappointed that she wasn't pregnant, he still could give motivational talks. I mean, public speaking is one thing, but motivating people when you're not too motivated yourself? That's really something.

That aspect of the show highly interested me- the way we have different faces. You might see an acquaintance who you remember as energetic and enthusiastic, and that's how they act when they're around you, but in truth they could be feeling upset over something. Only those close friends or family will know what they're going through.

I'm no different. There are so many layers to me, that I only show so much to people I don't know well, or don't feel comfortable opening up to. To these people, when they ask how I've been or how I'm doing, or how I'm liking Adelaide, my answer wouldn't be exactly what I'm feeling, or just a part of it.

 And somehow, I find myself really interested in the way we humans have this 'multiple faces' thing. I would say that it's mainly because I realised that previously in college, and now in uni, when interacting with people I'm generally a different person compared to when you've know me for real. My college mates for one thing never expected me to be sarcastic and 'mean' when they first got to know me. But as we got closer then they slowly saw more to me. The same process is happening now in uni, albeit slower than I expected.

So, lesson of the day: when people say they're fine, they might just very well be depressed.

P.S. You can watch some episodes of Giuliana & Bill on TV Shack.
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Wednesday, 7 July 2010
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I have several confessions to make.

1. I've watched Twilight AND New Moon on the very first day it came out in Malaysian cinemas.

2. I do think Harry Potter is better, although I do think credit must be given to Stephenie Meyer for achieving such an incredible feat (even E! thinks Harry Potter's better).

3. I've not been blogging because I'm trying to limit the amount of time I spend online.

4. I enjoy watching pranks that are mean in nature, like suddenly screaming in the elevator or pretending you've been electrocuted, or even postings on FML that goes something like "I cussed at my future father in law thinking he was a thief trying to steal my car", or "my toddler fed me his poo". Rest assured, I'm not sadistic, or heartless as some people believe.

5. I watched Serena Williams win Wimbledon, but not Rafael Nadal.

6. I love Survivor. I mean, really, really love it.

7. I'm smelling the aroma of cookies being baked right now, but I don't know where it's coming from.
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Thursday, 1 July 2010
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Today, I managed to watch Julie & Julia.

The movie's about two true stories- a woman, Julie Powell, who, frustrated with her life, went to write a blog about her tries at recipes of Julia Child's (a famous cook, who apparently introduced French cooking to America). So basically, the movie switches between scenes of Julie trying out the recipes and the path to which Julia got her famous cookbook published.

It's a pretty decent movie I think. I could relate to Julie in a way, especially in one scene when her mother encouraged her to strive on with her blog, because she hasn't completed anything in her life to date. She likes writing, and had completed half a book, but somehow didn't finish it. In many ways, I found that I was just like that. Many of the things I do follows my whims, and when they fade, so do my enthusiasm.

I've actually tried writing several fan fictions, but I've only managed to complete one. While I received fairly positive feedback, I somehow lacked the confidence to continue writing more stories. I've tried writing a short story once, and had drafted it all up, before giving up on it; so I can definitely understand why Julie wanted to complete ONE project. In fact, that was why I decided to finish writing that fan fiction of mine a few years after I started writing it.

Now I will go off topic. While I scrambled to complete writing that fan fiction, I realised that the original storyline was not what I wanted anymore; mainly because of the changes to my life. So I do think that your writing reflects your life in a way. Just look at J.K Rowling. She came up about a story of a boy orphan whose parents was killed by a cruel being when she was a single parent and struggling financially. When I continued writing that story a few years later, I disagreed with the way the story should've went. And since I'm not comfortable showing it to anyone just yet, you'll be stuck reading my blog posts instead.

So now I'll return to Julie & Julia. Another interesting lesson that I think we can pick up from the movie is that many times in life, we look at celebrities we look up to because of their public persona, not their true, personal one. We idolise them, but when we meet them for real, our respect for them goes down the drain because of their attitude (most of the time). In the movie, Julia didn't like the idea of Julie writing that blog about trying her recipes. Although Julia's stance did not affect Julie in any way, I would feel let down if a celebrity I admire turns out to be a self-absorbed person.

And of course, finally there is the fame- Julie became a celebrity in a way. She published a book, became an author, and had her book turned into a movie. I mean, who doesn't want that? To see your name in print, to have people recognise you as you walk down the street, and to have a movie where there's a scene with the line "based on the book by...". What more can one ask for in life?
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