Thursday, 27 October 2011
Blast from the Past 2

So as I once again have no idea what to post, I've decided to talk about one of my past entries.

I've chosen a rather meaningful one, which I posted in January of last year. Those of you who know me then, would know that it was a turning point in my life- I was getting ready to leave home and come over to Australia.

It feels weird, going to a different place all alone for such a long time, where I'll be forced to adapt and be on my own. No parental help. Everyone keep asking me whether I'm excited.

Honestly, if it were a holiday then obviously I would be excited, but this is different. How can I possibly be excited when I'm leaving my homeland for such a long time? I get it, some people are excited at leaving home and seeing new things and making new friends, but I've always been a home person. I know I can adapt, but that doesn't mean it'll make me feel better.

It really means that I'm leaving everything I have here. How can I be excited over that? But then again, I'm not dreading it either. I know the day will come, I know I have to go, and a part of me want to go. I know it's the only way I can see the world, experience a different culture, and grow up.

 
I do remember the mindset I was in then. I definitely dreaded it as the day came closer, and it felt horrible. I remember exactly what I felt as I walked towards the escalator that would bring me to passport control, where I had to say goodbye to family & friends. It wasn't a nice feeling.

Adapting wasn't easy, either. I have to say, now approximately 20 months after leaving home, I definitely adapting better; I actually feel that I can live here now, that I can actually enjoy myself, I feel that I actually have things to do that doesn't make me feel as if I'm missing out on a lot of things back home.

So to make things easy, definitely, I'm adjusting well. So well, in fact, that I think that if I were to return home I'd probably face reverse culture shock, or at least just a tiny part. As you may or may not know, I shut my feelings and thoughts of home out when I'm here very easily because I live such a drastically different life, and therefore it's easy to just not think of home, especially when I'm kept busy.

 For those who've experienced this before, you'll know that this is a very real dilemma!

I've come a long way since, in many different ways. My task here being uni, I've already completed my second year, with just one more to go! But I'm pretty sure my parents also wanted me to go abroad to gain some life experience, and this is the area in which I think I've changed and grown the most. Having to live independently is something that's just so much different and tougher than I'd thought it would be, and I've learned so many lessons and in a way, grew up a lot- and that's also perhaps why I would not adjust immediately back home.

When I went back home during the holidays last year, I definitely felt a slight disconnection with my peers- many things appear menial and mundane, and I felt myself having gone through so much more that it feels weird settling into that mindset where all I needed to worry about was where am I going to meet friends, and what am I going to eat while I'm with them.

But of course, I do still feel like a child sometimes, as everytime I learn something new it only goes to show that I didn't know it before, which makes me feel... ignorant, but at the end of the day I learn a new lesson anyway.

It's definitely fun to look back at where I was mentally back before I came here. It feels good to see how much further I've walked.

That's all. Have a great weekend ahead! 
Read more
Friday, 21 October 2011
What Happens Next



Speaking of which, I'm really excited for Pottermore's launch since I failed to get the early registration back in July!
Read more
Monday, 17 October 2011
'When I Was That Age...'

Just a few days ago, I was scrolling through Tweets when I stumbled upon this friend / acquaintance who Tweeted that it is unbelievable that their cousin, who is only about 10 or 11 years of age, already have a cell phone.

Have you ever observed (or perhaps you do this yourself) that, now that we are entering the adult world (in other words, we've had more life experience), and there are more and more people who are younger than us (gosh, I do miss the times when I could lay claim to being the youngest), and one of the things often talked about is how lucky those kids are to have the toys they have?

Now think again. How many times have you got annoyed when one of your parents, or both of them, said how lucky you were for having all the toys that you have, when they only played with pebbles, wood and whatever they could find in nature?


For a generation that complains constantly about how our parents never move with the times and are stuck in the past, we seem to be following in their footsteps.

So yes, kids nowadays are so much more fortunate because they are provided with gadget overload- they probably have an iPad in which to read and draw, a PS3, XBox or Wii to play games, a cell phone (if they're over 8 years old) to contact their parents, access to the computer and Facebook, yadah yadah yadah.

They're also subjected to overbearing parents who seem to think that milk powder, and not parental guidance, makes children smarter, and who can't imagine their kids doing any manual labour or playing outdoors.


 Anyway, the point is that we need to move on- times have changed, back when my parents were kids, fun meant running around in the wilderness, using anything and everything they can find as entertainment. Back when I was a kid, the standard was toy cars, model trains, puzzles and colour pencils.

We have to face it, today kids use iPads and other electronic gadgets instead. It's not that they are fortunate, or that they are spoilt, it's just that that is the norm today! We cannot judge the children of today based on our standards, just like how we can't judge the people of the times when lynching and racism was tolerated and encouraged.

Sometimes, I do think that it's just a lot of jealousy coming in. I mean, after all, our technology-loving generation hasn't grown up bombarded with gadgets the way kids today have, and I sometimes think if it is just envy that these children will get to enjoy these technologies for a longer time, just like I'm sure there will be some 30-something person resenting us for being able to use the smartphone in our teens and early adulthood.


I mean, come on, when I think about what I could've done had I had an iPad when I was young (okay not that much), I immediately think of what sort of person I could've been- reading would've been more attractive earlier because I could also vandalise the pages easily and erase them, and watch as the pictures move. Writing and drawing probably would've become more of a priority, too.

And I'm sure many others live vicariously through these children. We think of the what-ifs, and that results in us complaining about how lucky these kids are. But we have gotten so egocentric that we do not realise how lucky we have been growing up as well.
Read more
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
It's October?!?!

I'm not sure if this actually received coverage back home, but about a week ago I read an article in an Australian newspaper about Chin Peng's final application to return home.

A FORMER communist guerrilla fighter in Malaysia who has been living in exile in Thailand is critically ill and should be allowed to return home, his lawyer says.

Born Ong Boon Hua in Malaysia's north, Chin Peng was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and won two medals for helping the British fight the Japanese in Malaya during World War II.

He later led the communist party, backed by China, in a campaign against the British colonial and Malaysian governments before and after Malaysian independence in 1957.

Mr Khaira has insisted Chin Peng has the right to return under a 1989 peace agreement between the CPM and Malaysian government, which allowed several high-ranking communist leaders to do so. But the government has rejected all appeals, fearing Chin Peng's return may open old wounds and anger those whose family members were killed during the Emergency.

Last month, a Malaysian court charged an opposition politician for criminal defamation over an alleged pro-communist remark, suggesting tensions still run high. Opposition leaders and activists slammed the charge as undermining a pledge by Mr Najib to grant greater freedom of expression.

I suppose it IS a rather sensitive topic for us Malaysians.


I know that on one hand, you have those who have lived through that period in time, or at least close enough, that they feel uncomfortable having Chin Peng back home. I doubt that it's about the worry that he will cause trouble, as even if he isn't terminal he's in no position to plot anything sinister.

Then there are those who think that he is not harming anyone, and since he is a Malaysian citizen, should be allowed to return home.


Personally, I do not see why he shouldn't be allowed to return. While it's true that he did cause many deaths, it's not like he actively carried out genocide like Hitler or Pol Pot (and even Hitler is admired for his public speaking and leadership skills). He had a clear difference in political belief with other Malaysians, and sought to get his ideology accepted. That's just like many multi-party democracies today, except of course they don't go into physical warfare.


Having said that, I do understand where others come from. They are the ones who have suffered, who bear the wounds, who live with or have seen the consequences of the power struggle with the communists, and therefore they find it hard to forgive him.

I guess these are the sort of issues that we grapple with from time to time. It's a test of your morals, ethics, values and beliefs. And more often than not, these issues make you question yourself, and what you believe in. I love these issues, because they really make you take a hard look at yourself, and think deeply, and ask- 'what is it that I believe in? What do I stand for?'

Sometimes, you come out of these situations even more confused about your identity than before. You suddenly find that you're a completely different person from who you thought you were, and it's absolutely possible. I can't remember an exact example where I've experienced this, but I'm pretty sure that I have.

So, dear readers, what are your thoughts- would you want Chin Peng back in our country?

P.S. Google has rolled out the new Blogger layouts. Should I change it?
Read more
Sunday, 9 October 2011
The Middle

Today since I can't think of anything to write about, I'll be doing a repeat of a post I've done before.

Remember one of those posts where you do something and tag someone? I did one of those on my blog sometime ago, and for the fun of it I'll do it again. In honour of Steve Jobs, it's iPod-related. For me, at least.

The Rules for the Tag are:

1. Put your Music Player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
4. Tag your friends

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

There’s A Place For Us- Carrie Underwood



WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GIRL/BOY?
Prime- Steve Jablonsky




HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
I Want To Hold Your Hold- Chris Colfer




WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Waking Up- Olin & The Moon




WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?
Reptilia- The Strokes




WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Kiss From A Rose- Seal




WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Fugitive- Mark Salling




WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Turn Our Eyes Away- Trent Dabbs / Ruby Amanfu




WHAT IS 2 + 2?
Waiting For The End- Linkin Park




WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Colour My World- Westlife




WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
The Call- Regina Spektor




WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? 
Reverse of Shade- The Windupdeads




WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Secrets- One Republic



WHAT WILL/DID YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Hold It Against Me - Sam Tsui




WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Time Well Spent- Tom Felton




WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Iridescent- Linkin Park




WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Get It Right- Lea Michele



WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Strangers- The Dirty Secret




WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?
Heartbreak Warfare- John Mayer




WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Personal- Stars




WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS? 
The Middle- Jimmy Eat World

 

Oh and I found out about Steve Jobs's passing via a group mate who blurted it out so randomly early in the morning that I had to clarify to make sure I heard correctly, then go online to check if it's true. What's your Steve Jobs story?
Read more