I am so sorry for leaving the blog hanging for two months. My excuse? I was home in Kuala Lumpur for my winter break, followed by 2.5 weeks in Sydney to spend time with Da Boy and of course, the remainder of the week back in Melbourne, heeehee! I didn’t want to do any writing unless it was absolutely necessary (actually, I did a lot of writing, finishing up one last assignment as well as writing my thesis proposal, but more on the latter later).
I left Melbourne for Kuala Lumpur on 29 May, arriving the next morning. For about the first week at home, I slaved away at one last assignment of the semester, and then the party started, woop woop!
I went to Nam Sai’s house for a little get-together with some of the peeps from the Penang Hokkien podcast. We laughed, we ate, and we played with Nam Sai’s son’s fidget spinners.
Here I am in Kuala Selangor, a little sleepy fishing village, with my family for some fish-buying and brunch, when I encountered not one but two Ferraris on the street. I might not be a car aficionado, but Ferrari has a special place in my heart because I’m a die-hard fan of Ferrari’s F1 team.
I also made sure I spent plenty of time with my friends. Miaw Miaw and I had a little staycation in the heart of Kuala Lumpur for a weekend and Aric T came along for drinks at a beautifully cosy speakeasy that was not too difficult to find.
We stayed in the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur, which had this stunning view of the Petronas Twin Towers from our main window.
The week after, I headed up to Genting Highlands with my parents, Ah Mah Daforcena and Koh Poh Daforcena (my grandaunt).
Yes, it is a casino, but Genting Highlands is more than that, being a resort in the mountains 90 minutes away from KL. They used to have a theme park there, but it got torn down to make a 20th Century Fox theme park, which is still in construction. I’m not much of a gambler, but I do like coming up with family, mainly to stay in the hotels here.
Due to the fact that Padre and Koh Poh Daforcena were gold card members, we were allowed into a special gaming room that had free flow drinks like orange juice, iced lemon teas, warm Milo and coffees, which peculiarly also had a club-like atmosphere. This was where I taught Ah Mah Daforcena some moves, and she absolutely loved them.
Back home, I picked up baking because Il Fratelino Daforcena and I learned how to bake a chiffon cake from Jiu Mu Daforcena for Father’s Day.
We made Padre Daforcena a banana chiffon cake, and we learned bit by bit to branch out into different flavors.
I think we baked a total of 5 chiffon cakes and we ate them all. Nuff said. Even the failures.
Here I am, with my Citi Intern Gang, we met for a morning hike. It did not end pretty for me. I hate hiking. I seriously do. Da Boy loves hiking and I have hiked this hill with him the last time he came to KL with him too. But this time, it had been raining all morning, the track was muddy and the hill was a little steep.
I couldn’t handle it. I was a crying heap before we reached the summit and my friends, those little angels, turned back just for me.
What made me cry?
I actually have a tiny fear of falling, which can be translated into a mild fear of heights. At 3/4 of the way up, the trail became steep and muddy and I knew that I couldn’t continue on. As the rain continued to poured, I struggled to get down because every step was slippery. I fell. Yes I fell many times and each time I fell I actually screamed and cried like a baby.
I seriously hate hiking.
The thing that made me happiest this trip back home was that I could spend more time with my family. I had a blast with them, and I went to Jiu Mu Daforcena’s (where Ah Mah Daforcena also lives) as often as I could.
I also made time to visit my alma mater, Monash Univeristy Malaysia, because I needed some help writing a thesis proposal, thus I sought out one of my former lecturers because he was teaching the same program that I was enrolled in Monash University here in Australia (because I know that I would not have time to write my proposal in Australia due to all the red tape and stuff, I had to complete it before I flew to Sydney).
Fast forward to 1 July, and BOOM I was on another flight to Sydney, where Da Boy was. We didn’t do anything too special this trip, but we spent a lot of time with friends. I picked up Dungeons and Dragons thanks to them and it was quite an interesting venture, I must say.
I was there for 18 days, which a looong time, and during this time, I basked in the normalcy of life with Da Boy. There would be times when he was busy with his own affairs (during which I time I found ways to entertain myself, which mostly entailed window shopping in the city), but when we were together at home, we spent the time cooking together, just talking and hanging out.
We did do things like go salsa dancing with his friends, having various game nights with them, but trust me, I do treasure every moment we had alone, even if it was mundane. Perhaps, it was because we hardly get to spend time together, but whatever it was, I had the time of my life too!
Before long, it was time to go back to Melbourne, and let me tell you, I actually felt like I should come back. On my second last day in Sydney, I discovered that I was cleared to do the Master’s Thesis unit, which would pave a way for opportunities in research after I graduate, provided I can keep up with my grades! I was sooo ecstatic!
So hence begins a new semester, filled with new challenges (so cheesy, but it’s true).
I want to thank everyone for making this vacation such a blast, and all the love you guys have shown me.
*NOTE: The news of Chester Bennington’s passing hit me hard. I’m so sad right now, because I grew up with his voice in my ears since I was 10, right from Hybrid Theory. When I was in Sydney, Da Boy and I went out with his friends for a little food/music crawl and ended up at QVB, where we encountered two anonymous piano geniuses playing. I decided to have a crack at it and played the only song I could play without looking at sheet music – Linkin Park’s Numb. It was a beautiful memory, because the night was quiet and the entire building was filled with the sounds of the grand piano, be it by me or the two other people who played. This memory would not have existed without Chester at all.*