Thursday, September 30, 2010


I haven't actually mentioned about my trip to the UK - how is that possible?

Well, I didn't expect anyone to be at the airport apart from my immediate family and a cousin. I'd already made the calls and said the goodbyes. On some occasions I became teary-eyed because I'm leaving so much behind. It's the first time I've ever been to a different country alone.

As we walked into the airport, there were aunts, uncles and cousins who came to send me off. Thank you for surprising me! It was a good sort of shock. We went to have a bite before they saw me off at the immigration. I wish I could upload the photos now but they are not with me now.

Today I've cleaned my room. And some things are over it again. I haven't decided where they should go. I feel this sudden need to decorate the room and make it seem less bare. That's before I remembered that all my craft materials are at home!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Norwich Glimpses

Now that some things are done, I can now write a blogpost! My hands itched to type all through the time I've been here without proper internet connection. I haven't been taking a lot of photos lately because of the paperwork I'm obligated to do, but here are some shots of Norwich city centre.

It's very beautiful here. We were told that Norwich used to be second to London in terms of size and importance of trade (in wool) during medieval times. During the 19th century, it lost out and so not a lot of olden day architecture were demolished. It feels like an old English town caught in a time warp.

Norwich market place
I haven't walked by the market place yet, or done any walking for that matter. I had three awfully heavy grocery bags slicing my palms with their nasty plastic handles. I'll pay a proper visit next time. At least, even if I need some shopping done, I'll bring a lighter bag. It's the fifth best place to shop in the UK after all.
Norwich cathedral
The cathedral is a major landmark aside from the castle and churches. I think it should look lovely on the inside as well but that would be for another day.
Random Street
There are a lot of quaint little streets too. I bought a Sim card from that phone shop up there. I have to figure out how the Pay-As-You-Go works before I've an official phone number abroad.

The university has an open campus and it is huge. I'm getting used to the layout now, but there are still certain times when I find myself going around in circles. Going to the university by foot is not bad, very refreshing; walking back to the accommodation isn't. Especially since it's been raining since I've arrived. The wind blows towards me as I walk back..

Other than that, my room is still a little messy and my flatmates are nice people to be with. Culture shock is inevitable but everyone has been very considerate. I like all seven of them and I love it here. The verdict: I can survive here for three years for sure.

I'm going to need to find Malaysian food though. I'm craving Char Kuey Teow. And Chicken Rice. And Nasi Kandar.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Wish...

I'm leaving soon... wish me luck. And I'll see you there. It'll be fast. Time will pass fast and soon I'll be back. And this is my wish.
I hope that days come easy and moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

More than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more then you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

~My Wish, by Rascal Flatts~

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Official

I'm flying off on Thursday.

Everything is happening a little too fast now that my visa is finally ready.

And I'm scared - both in excited and sad ways. I hope I don't get emotional on that day.

And well, I'll update you guys through this blog, as much as I can.

I have shivers down my spine now. Why does it seem like there's so many things I have to do here?

Someone wake me up when September ends. Please.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I remember, I remember...

I'm looking back at all the photos I've taken so far. Normally, during events, I would be the one snapping away, as well as uploading them on network sites. Who's going to be the next unofficial family photographer?Hah! I hope there'll be photos for me to look at next year. 
The other Lum family
These were from several weeks back. There are many more photographs in the other camera which were taken recently. I'll miss being part of our mini photo shoot at the stairs. I think we should progress to the garden though. 

The usual cousins photo on the stairs
Then there's the Low family. Two of them are in Australia now, but we still had lunch together. Delicious Japanese meal! Thank you! I'll see you on Skype! Famous Five unite!
The Low family
The Brito family and MaMa (one of my grandmothers) also came by. It'll be a while before I get to see my three little nieces. Aren't they all pretty? Thank you for coming for a visit. *smiles*
The Brito family

And here's the food from the Ramadhan bazaar some time back. It's making me salivate again. In case you do not know, the bazaar is popular during the Raya month. 
Food from the Pasar Ramadhan.
There will be more remembered moments soon. For now, I've some packing to do. How odd, packing everything into boxes and bags, as if erasing part of yourself from a sketch of your portrait. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'll miss you all

It is the end of the week. It is almost the end of the month. Soon I'll be flying off to UK. The idea of it hasn't exactly sunk into my system yet. Basically I am worried about my visa, which is "still being processed" as you read this.

I suppose the next thing I'll worry about would be my possessions. What to bring and what not to bring. I'm pretty sure within the first week of my departure, my sister will have used her imaginary leaf blower to, with a huff and a puff, blow my bed, furniture, books and anything I have to leave behind away. How comforting.

As for the flight itself, I'm not afraid of flying but it's going to be one long, dizzy ride. That aside, I'm fine.

Goodbyes are hard to go around when there are lots of family members. I know that I won't be able to meet all my friends either. I'll miss you guys very much.

I'll miss you all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

'Important Information'

"I want to tell you something important about going overseas." His face turned sombre. "To warn you."

That was the start of a conversation we had several months back. A prolonged silence ensued, leaving my thoughts taking wild guesses as to what it could be. No overspending? No shopping too much? Time management?

"OK... warn me." I said.

"Most girls, when they go overseas..." he paused. "...gain weight."

I quickly tapped the wooden table.

That's what my father said. He even stressed that cold weather makes people eat more and hide themselves in the warmth of their room without going anywhere.

But that view is subjective!! I'm vowing to be on my best dietary behaviour when I leave for university.

For now, however, I'm indulging in Malaysian food (or the more suitable term would be Asian food). I know I'll miss them sooner or later. If there's one thing Malaysians would agree on, it would be that we all love food. I realised that when meeting up means going to a restaurant for lunch or dinner or even desserts and when "Have you eaten?" in various languages is a common greeting.

Yesterday it was Korean; on several occasions it was Japanese; eating out would mean hawker stall favourites. And of course, home cooked meals are ranked the highest.

Suddenly everything tastes extra delicious.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Blog is Carbon Neutral.

The environment is in one bad state. I'm sure you would agree. I'm taking steps to reduce global warming, albeit tiny ones. My family is practising the 3R's (Recycling, Reducing, Reusing), but I still think more should be done for the effects to show.

This is something I stumbled across.

"Make It Green" is a programme which originates from Germany, with a goal of reducing the emission of carbon dioxide. For one, carbon footprints have got to go. Surfing the web often doesn't help. With each web page you go into another large puff of CO2 punctuates the air, even when blogging. 

On the other hand, I can't imagine myself not blogging, which leads to the "My blog is carbon neutral" initiative.

For every participant of this initiative, a tree would be planted at the Plumas National Park. And for that you can reduce YOUR carbon footprint each time you blog. All you have to do is post something up like this, and paste the badge on your wall. Cyber wall, I mean. The website will shed more light.

co2 neutral coupons attractive shopping offers with

So...why not? Now my blog is carbon neutral. (Or at least, the carbon is reduced)

Every little step counts, especially in the long run.

Part of my Childhood

I've just returned from my grandma's place, where part of my childhood was spent. Nothing much changed. Or maybe things have changed but frequent visits blurred those lines.

In the morning, my ears pick up the sounds of tractors rumbling outside, busy feet shuffling across the floor and telephones ringing. Of course, that's when I wake up slightly later than I should. By afternoon, the kitchen starts bringing out food. They have some of the most delicious food I've ever tasted, and in large portions. I help out where I can. And when I can't, I keep myself amused with a book or random writing. By night we sit together in the living room to watch a TVB series.

I'm going to miss them when I leave. I really am. And for one whole year! *tears*
PS. I'm also waiting for my visa, which hasn't come. What do I do??!! What can I do? Sigh.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fresh Start - The Rest is Still Unwritten

For some reason or another, I feel as if there's something different in me. I don't know what it is exactly, or how this came to be, but I'll do my best to describe it. Please bear with me - This was not how I intended the post to be initially, but deleting this would mean a restless night. I've strung the words together as carefully as I can as this is hard to write.

I've always kept many things to myself, holding back emotion to avoid conflict, putting up with people's judgements of me. It's not easy to live up to so many expectations. You'd understand. You're probably expected to be at your best at all times. No room for mistake. The thing is, I just can't do that anymore...

"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

~Invictus, by William Ernest Henley~

Four Leaf Clover Animated Divider from

Well, everything is changing and I sense it. Let's start afresh, shall we? I shall make do with what I have done with the layout so far. Other changes will come only later on. Now to look back at my blogging experience thus far.

I've been a blogger since May 2008, when I was a high school student in my senior year. I've been going through my archive, reading almost all my previous posts. Very different styles, and I'm not surprised. With each new entry I've become more comfortable with expressing a little more of what I truly feel. I used to think that every post must be perfect; that less traffic is not a good sign. Today that doesn't matter (except when it comes to grammar and spelling). It's almost a diary after all.

The bottomline: I enjoy blogging and I'll be here for a long time. Here's a toast to a new day.

Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

~Unwritten, by Natasha Bedingfield~

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Changes for Progress

Changes are inevitable. Got to make way for progress, no? I've decided to give my blog a scrub and, to the best of my digital abilities (which is not that much), made changes to the settings, design etc. I used to refrain from switching to the new templates and updated blog editor, but thought, what for?

It's not like I'm fighting convention. These days, perspectives are more subjective. And because of that, more people are vocal. Resisting convention is a convention itself.

So the changes I will accept.

It's almost done now. I'm still deciding whether I want to share posts on other social networking sites.

And whether there's anything I'd like to do with it.

Till then.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fast Forward Five Years

Time is one sneaky little spy; one crafty thief. It slips through the cracks of our fingers and brings with it everything we see, touch and feel. Time is always a step ahead of us; when we reach tomorrow, it'll be yesterday sooner than we think. But that, I suppose, is nothing more than the expected.

In a sudden impulse (and possibly several films later) I thought of a time capsule. In it time is trapped, confined within a claustrophobic space. While the world continues to spin, day by day and night by night, I'd like to think that time inside the capsule cannot weather as fast as the outside.

My cousins, my siblings and I did a little craft project two weeks ago, using a lovely bottle, coloured papers, a ribbon, tape, pens and thoughts. I daresay it looks as good as that in gift shops.

Our whole family took part. Well, almost.

This is our plan. For five long years, this time capsule will remain kept away. Perhaps the messages will increase by then. After that period, when time has taken a toll on the world, it'll be opened and the spy (or thief) is allowed to roam free.

What we were, what we thought, what we felt, what we dreamt of...all in a bottle tucked away by time itself.

I hope that five years would not extend to a decade. That just sounds a little too long. Anyhow, it'll be something to look forward to or work towards.

Someone told me that I have a tendency to be nostalgic, sometimes a little too much so. She's right. I am. Sometimes I do hold onto memories like an anaconda who hasn't seen food in months.

But it's all not THAT it?

PS. Five years begin now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Genting Trip

My two aunts brought Pei Wen and I up to Genting last month (I am aware that this is overdue, but here is the post as I promised)

On the way up, we visited the memorial of Lim Goh Tong who, to me, is an epitome of a hardworking individual that eventually succeeded. The roads he built took a turn up to the mountains and grew into an empire. An inspirational Malaysian, no?

While my aunts went for Justin Lo's concert, Pei Wen and I went our own way. We raptly watched Dazzle - I particularly liked the shadow performance and the quick change act. How they change their clothes in the blink of an eye, I will never know. Then, we went on several indoor rides.

Dinner up in the highlands is usually expensive. This was no different, but at least the portion is big.

The next day we walked around to enjoy the cold air.

Thank you again for bringing us up with you.

My cousin and I.
The moment I told her I'm taking a photo, she struck a pose.

So did we.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Passion in a Choice

Choose a job you love,
and you will never have to work a day in your life.

When it comes to choosing a job or (as a student) a course, would you pursue a passion or give in to other equally important considerations? There's no right or wrong answer, I assure you. People do need financial security and acceptance after all.

I love writing and I'm going to study English Literature. In many ways it is unconventional, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It is one of those decisions that you make and know you will never regret.

Going with the flow can be exciting, even if I'm not sure what it is I would do after three years. All I hope is that I can live off something I enjoy doing. Then it would hardly be called work, would it?