Wish You Were Here

I don’t normally put song lyrics up, but I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd’s songs on repeat the past few days and I realized that I will never find another band that has such brilliant lyrics ever again. Then I got very depressed and emotional, as I always am, because that means I have to resign to the fate of our current generation and listen to crap music for the rest of my life.

This is from their song “Time” :

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

Don’t know about you, but the lyrical poignancy left me feeling quite dumbstruck for a few minutes. “Noone told you where to run, you missed the starting gun / So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking”

Anyway, aside from mulling over deep meaningful lyrics, I’ve also been bawling my eyes out watching Grave of the Firelies. It’s a Japanese animation about two orphans during world war II and it’s extremely depressing but very very well made. I highly recommend it (if you’re not on the brink of suicide, cause after watching it you’ll definitely feel like you’re not worthy of living T__T).

I also rewatched a few Miyazaki films recently – Princess Mononoke, Totoro, Castle in the Sky, Kiki. All his movies, despite being cheerful and meaningful, always leave me feeling…nostalgic and blue. It’s weird, I think I’m just a very emotional person deep inside, which is weirder cause I used to be such a cheerful person. Maybe got bad fengshui wtf

Since I’m currently bumming around, I thought I’d spend some time stimulating my brain so I don’t fall into the dark abyss of being unintelligent and un-opinionated, and started watching some video lectures by this Harvard professor. It’s a series of lectures on Philosophy, so if you’ve always been interested in issues like ethics, political philosophy and justice, then this is a great start!

Even if you’re not interested, I still think you should watch it. We should definitely do away with subjects like Moral and Civics in school and start teaching Philosophy, so that we are taught to think for ourselves and to nurture our own moral principles, instead of TELLING people how to be a good person and a good citizen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBdfcR-8hEY&feature=relmfu – Have fun!

That’s it for now, feeling melancholic a bit hard to blog unless I start churning out some boring serious post again..and I think we’ve had enough of that for now.

England part two

Just got back from a great trip to Kuching yesterday! Everytime I tell people I was going to Kuching for a week, they’d go “one week?? what’s there to do there!”. There’s SO MUCH to do in Kuching! First of all, there’s the food, food, food, food, and food. It took me about 5 days before I started finding the real gems (thanks to my local guides!). There’s the forests and mountains and beaches and seas and rivers and wildlife and just SO MUCH to do! I didn’t even get to spend time in the caves, so I’ll definitely be back in Sarawak again ๐Ÿ˜€

I know I promised a funny post, but I really can’t think of anything funny to talk about T___T I think I just have to succumb to my fate and accept the reality that I no longer have a sense of humor.

*tries hard to think of one last parting funny sentence
Umm, yo mama so fat that..umm..she, umm.
*fails

Oh wait, I know! I AM FAT AND STUPID! Hahaha when all else fails, self-deprecating humor always works. And remember, as long as there’s one person who laughs at your jokes and even if that one person is you yourself, it means you’re funny. Wise words by Suet Li Liew.

Anyway, I have tons of pictures!!!! Super excited to post them first so the next post can be all about Kuching ๐Ÿ˜€

Continuation from my UK post:

Pubs are a big thing in England and we ate at a pub almost every night when we were there. Why? Cause they are the cheapest (Under 6 pounds) Here, you can see the usual clientele at a pub – angry and grumpy bald white men wtf

Ah slutty British girls going pub-crawling at 5 pm, what’s there not to love about this place?

Went to the countryside! Isn’t this beautiful?? Reminds me of Lijiang in China and Kundasang in Sabah, both my favorite places in the world.

Cows grazing under the great blue sky. Koki, my japanese friend from Hong Kong, once told me this story that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Out of the blue, he excitedly told me that if you put your hand into a cow’s mouth, it’ll chew at it and you’ll feel super good WTF. He said you won’t feel the cow’s teeth and you’ll feel this soft melty sensation all over and it feels orgasmic. I couldn’t help laughing the entire time cause it sounds damn stupid, and he was telling me this while putting on this super syok expression on his face ย -___-

But in all seriousness, after he told me that, it’s been my lifelong dream to put my hand into a cow’s mouth. I almost did it in Lijiang but I was so worried that the cow will actually gnaw my hand off!!! Doesn’t help that Koki was right there giving me his super syok face that is both tempting and cunning at the same time. What if he was lying to me! Pretend to encourage me but actually want to laugh when I get bitten. Cannot trust Japanese men wtf

HAHAHA I FOUND A PICTURE OF KOKI WITH THAT STUPID FACE!!!

Ok it’s stupider than this, but can you imagine ย -____-

Sigh one day..you and me, cow..one day.

Ah so pretty! On the way to my house

My house and uh, strangers walking around

Me posing outside my house

My back garden

With my mom. Thank you thank you, my house IS quite lovely

I can sit here all day ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay I think that’s all from my UK trip! Today I had too much time on my hands and I found some random pictures I haven’t posted before, so here they are:

Ah my beloved Shanshan and I on one of our last days together.

I miss her so much T____T Can’t believe it’s been almost three months after our graduation!

Here’s a picture to show you the wonders of makeup! My right eye was so much bigger just with eyeliner alone!

Anyway my hair is crazy long now!

Can even curl it too ๐Ÿ˜€

And to think that my hair was still boyish short less than 7 months ago.

Last picture!

I’m gonna blow this picture up, print it and put it right in front of me to remind myself that if I don’t stop eating and start exercising, then it’s a slippery slope from here on wtf.

No way I want to go back to being fat again, it was a complete zaman kegelapan dalam hidup suet li T___T *memories of friends singing “suet li suet li sangat gemuk, makan makan jadi lagi gemuk!” to the tune of mat kool mat kool kawanku song come flooding back

Alright that’s all for now! I’m going to try to sleep before 3 am so I don’t fall into that unemployed bum cycle wtf

Greetings from Kuching

Hello from the Cat City! I’ve been here for about 5 days now and I have really begun to fall in love with this somewhat sleepy town ๐Ÿ™‚ I think I’ve probably walked every street near the waterfront and my legs are going to fall off any minute now.

I’m also going on a crazy food hunt to find the best food in Kuching! Almost every Kuchingite I’ve spoken to tells me that their food is the BEST but frankly I’ve been quite disappointed ๐Ÿ™ kolo mee is pretty awesome because it’s such a homely comfort food but everything else is just..meh. Maybe I’ve gone to the wrong places!

Anyway I’m going to leave Kuching for Damai tomorrow so let’s hope I find better food today!

Will definitely post the pictures later, need to do more exploring today. I kept thinking to myself that if I do continue teaching in public schools, I would definitely choose Sarawak or Sabah as my next destination. There’s just this very strong charm about Borneo that appeals to me. Sigh I love my country so much *suddenly get all teary and patriotic wtf

Also, today I’m alone! What’s the best thing to do in Kuching when you’re traveling alone? I have the whole day until Alex returns tonight! Contemplating either venturing into the other side of the river to the Malay kampungs to walk around but I heard it’s a little unsafe? Maybe I’ll just do the museums and souvenir-shopping today. Or find a nice cozy coffee place and read.

Have a great day ahead everyone!

Stories from the gym

Yes, I finally decided to do something about my incessant complaints about my weight gain and went to the gym for the first time in months yesterday! Woohoo!!

While I gingerly pressed the buttons on the treadmill in the gym (I live in an apartment), I noticed a girl staring at me from afar. She was by the door, curiously sticking her head in to get a small peek at what I was doing. I smiled at her while she walked nervously and stood right next to me. She was one of the cleaners, as I noticed from her uniform. I didn’t know if I should continue running, or ask her if something was wrong, so I said hello kak, sihat?

She was taken aback but asked if she could stand there and watch me, for she has never seen how the machines work before and has never dared to ask. I said sure, but inside I was getting a little annoyed. I mean, how am I going to run when someone’s watching me?? After two minutes, I was already panting and sweating and there she was, still staring wide-eyed at the treadmill and me.

Then there was a man’s voice some distance away and she scurried away immediately, mumbling something about how she’d better get back to work. About fifteen minutes after when I’d moved on to lifting weights instead, she came in again, this time with another cleaner friend in tow. They both smiled widely and stared at me pulling the handlebar down, and gasped when it made a somewhat loud clang when I was done with it. I asked if they wanted to try too, and told them how it works and which muscles I was using. They got excited when they heard me speaking in fluent Malay, and started chatting with me while I moved on to the other machines.

It was a short conversation but I couldn’t believe how fast they’d warmed up to a complete stranger who was merely trying to tell them how to lift weights! The other girl was 17 while the first one was my age, and they were both from Kelantan. They came to KL because they were lousy at school and they thought there wasn’t a point in continuing anyway. “Buang masa je kan kat sekolah, mak bapak kata baik cari kerja”. I told them very cautiously that going to school increases their chances of getting a better job, to which they disagreed politely. “Ramai kawan kite orang habis sekolah pun sama je, buat kerja sapu sampah, cuci tandas semua, asalkan dapat duit lah. Kite bukannya macam orang KL, pandai cakap English, pandai jadi doktor”

Here I was lifting my 20-pound handlebar, listening to these two girls telling me their stories so candidly, and I was left completely dumbfounded. The younger girl had to go back to work, and before she left she said “akak ni baik dan peramah lah, biasanya orang tak layan pun, nanti kite borak lagi ye” which hit me with guilt like a ton of bricks. I usually never speak to the cleaners before, and this was only because I was getting uncomfortable with them staring at me!

Meanwhile the other girl was still accompanying me while I continued running on the treadmill. I had gotten used to her, so I was still chatting with her while I almost died climbing a hill at 6km/h. Sweat was dripping everywhere, I was panting like a dog, my eyesight was blurring up, and there she was saying “cepat sikit! boleh lagi! 5 minit lagi!” T______T what did I do to deserve such kindness and moral encouragement from someone I just met an hour ago?

When I was done, she wiped the machine clean since I had obviously deposited a lot of bodily fluid all over it wtf. I told her I have to go, and she said bye cheerfully and asked me when I would come to the gym again. “Insha’allah esok!” but I never went today cos my legs were too sore and I was busy ๐Ÿ™

I just wanted to jot this down because it was probably one of those AHA! moments for me. Aha! I knew I was doing Teach For Malaysia for the right reason, how can people think that kids in KL are smarter, and that there’s no point to school because they will still work as a cleaner after anyway? Aha! I might have wasted more time talking to them than actually working out, but it was a conversation I will never give up for anything. Aha! being fluent in Malay comes in handy after all ๐Ÿ˜€

I really hate to be overselling Teach For Malaysia, but I wholeheartedly believe in their cause and mission. As someone who comes from a somewhat more privileged background, from a middle-class family that lives in a pretty adequate suburbia that’s within driving distance to everything I ever need, it’s easy to bitch about what the country is lacking and to nitpick on every flaw we have. But I also realize that we have grown so far apart from many of our fellow Malaysians who live in this very same country we’re in. Malaysians who are barely surviving, and here we are complaining while we drive nice cars and have meals in restaurants.

I think this dawned upon me the most when I was google mapping the school that I’m going to teach for the next two years. I’ve been an ardent google map user, but I’ve always only used it to see how I can get to Bangsar, or Damansara. I realized that zooming out of Klang Valley, there really isn’t much and roads become a lot less connected (in fact, only one main road in Gemas). So, when I say the government should do this and that for me, am I thinking about people from these places? They are Malaysians too, but who is speaking out for them? Do we know what they want, or do we even care? Frankly, I have never thought of that before. I’ve been so self-absorbed in this whole pursuit of a better country for ME, for people who are like ME, and it’s so easy to entrap ourselves in this Klang Valley bubble. (sorry I’m digressing a little here)

I’m really interested to know why these two young girls said there wasn’t a point in going to school, was it because they come from families who didn’t think it was possible to be successful? was it because they don’t have someone to look up to? Most importantly, was it because they had teachers who never once told them that despite where they come from, they can achieve success, just like the “smarter people in KL”? (remind self to ask them tomorrow when I go to the gym, which I WILL BE *gung ho)

I have heard first-hand teachers saying that about their students. “There’s no hope for these students, the best thing we can do is keep them out of trouble”. No, there’s no hope for them because no one told them that they can do it. No one has believed in them, or told them that there’s no excuse to not do well because of their origin and socio-economic background.

I have had the privilege to not just go to a university, but a university abroad nonetheless. Many many other Malaysians out there might not even go to a university (in fact, 4 out of 5 working Malaysians are only educated up to SPM level) so education inequity is definitely well and alive. Although I have not seen it in my bubble, I know it’s there so it’s about time I acknowledge it.ย To be honest, if anything, I feel quite ashamed.ย Ashamed because I had wanted to leave this call of urgency behind, leave my country behind.

Ok I realize it’s been a long post, and to you it might have been a whole lot of fluff and nonsense but it’s something I believe in so just entertain me lah haha.

On a completely different note, I wonder how I suddenly became this serious person that I am. I was reading my old posts and I used to be so funny T__T. My resolution for the next few months is to get back my sense of humor, and I’ll start by googling for jokes so watch out for a funny post next wtf

The English land

Hello! I had a glorious ten-hour sleep so now I have so much excess energy I don’t know what to do with it! Of course, I could go exercise or something since I have gained x amount of weight since..since I was thin (3 years ago wtf), but it’s so hot outside and it’s so cold and nice in my room…I’ll start exercising tomorrow wtf

So! I figured I should just be more hardworking and start posting the pictures up! Although my mom is still nagging for me to unpack, I really feel like blogging now so let me finish this post before that fleeting feeling disappears again.

This is a picture of the entire Teach For Malaysia team! I’m going to blow this up and put it on my wall cos I miss them already (actually no, it’s just cos I look good wtf. I don’t usually look good when I smile so must cherish it!)

I have about 60+ photos of England that I want to post up so might as well do it now when my semangat is so membara-bara!

I think the thing I like best about London is every other building is just so pretty and historical looking! Just being in a place like that makes you feel quite cultured, like you’re in a place that has a lot of history although you don’t necessarily know the history behind it wtf

Tower Bridge! which is sadly always mistaken for London Bridge. London Bridge is actually just a normal looking bridge hahaha

This is Camden Market! Don’t know why it’s famous, nothing much to do there but see shops selling super gothic clothes

This is some crispy chicken thingy sold by a Malaysian guy. He knew we were Malaysians right when he saw us and started shouting to us in hokkien and malay, whoa we must be emitting powerful Malaysian aura

Don’t know why half the pictures on my camera are of food and of me eating, once a glutton always a glutton wtf

A shop selling super vintage toys!!!

I would totally wear everything in this shop! But they’re all super pricey, like 60 pounds for a top CRAZY

With my sis and her boyfriend, Peter, at a crepe stall. He looks like a thug but he cooks very well and is a gentleman ๐Ÿ™‚

I may have left Moho, but Moho never left me wtf

Harrods! Where you can never afford anything inside, even if you sell your limbs and kidneys. and ovaries.

After three days in London, we went to Leeds where my sister lives! This is the view from her apartment, so awesome T_T

We went to Yorkshire the next day! The building at the far end is just a castle..no big deal..they have castles everywhere..

My mom and I. I’m wearing a million layers cos it’s freaking cold despite it being summer T_T

Yes, trying to be artsy wtf

Aww, English houses!

a nostalgic looking carousel

No idea what this is but just wanted to show you how grey the sky is. Peter said: 90% of tourist pictures of England turn out like this, so don’t worry it’s not just you.

I like York, it looks exactly like how I would expect an old English town north of London to look like..

with narrow alleyways

and crooked looking shophouses

and vintage sweet shops

with small doors cos people back then were a lot smaller haha

and kinky donuts wtf

we had fish and chips next by the cathedral, since you know we’re in a very English place and all so might as well go all out and eat the most English food

Had afternoon tea after at Betty’s! I love scones with clotted cream <3

While I was posing for this picture, my mom said “you better don’t smile, you look better when you don’t smile” so this is me with an angry face wtf

Younger sister was tiptoeing, she has an obsession with being taller than me in all pictures

With a macaroon. Told you my pics are all of food T_T

Okay I still have tons of pictures but I’ll post them next time! Today I’m in a very emo phase for no reason at all (is this what happens when you’re in your early 20s? You keep getting blue and keep thinking about life all the time wtf). I think I need more friends to hang out with so I won’t have time to feel this way. I think I need to party more, the last time I danced was…ok I don’t even remember T___T I think it was..6 months ago?

Maybe that’s why I’m feeling like this, I haven’t had fun in forever! All I’ve been doing is reading on my kindle and playing sudoku on my phone omg I’m such a loser. My mom told me the other day: “I think you read too much, that’s why you’re fat. Stop reading, it’s bad for you.” WTF. hahaha..ha..ha. But I guess it’s quite true, so I’m gonna go swim now. or run. or dance. or play basketball. or just cry my sorrows away wtf

Hopeful graduate

iivev

And my sister is now a graduate too! very proud of her *sniff

Although her favorite phrase ever is “yeah I’ll never be as good, I’m a lousy kid who has the middle child syndrome”, she’s really a lot more mature now and I’m so glad that she’s extremely happy too! She’s going to be looking for a job in Leeds and would probably stay there for some time though ๐Ÿ™

That concludes my trip here in the UK, will be heading home tomorrow. I’ve only been away from home for about 9 days and yet it somehow feels like forever! When I get back, I have to figure out what I want to do for the next 3 months before my training starts.

I’m going to be volunteering at a school but my mom is not happy that I’ll be unemployed without income, so looks like I’ll have to work part time somewhere too. Know any job that gives you quick income legally? wtf

i had a dream

last night i was so tired from walking ten hours straight that i collapsed immediately after i showered. i slept extremely soundly for the next 12 hours or so in my dodgy hotel room near king’s cross, and had one of the best dreams ever. i dreamt that i was standing in front of 40 or so 13-year olds on my first day as a teacher. the day went surprisingly well, everyone was so eager to hear what this bright-eyed young teacher had to say, everyone paid attention when i told them that i was going to establish rules and my first rule is “hormat-menghormati” and everyone was in agreement when i said we should have mutual respect for each other. they put their hands up when i asked questions, and answered very happily and proudly. and only one kid was sleeping.

i woke up with a smile on my face and told myself that that’s exactly what i would say on my first day in my classroom. except that the kids in my classroom would probably walk out even before i write hormat-menghormati on the board.

Redefining priorities

Haven’t blogged in forever again. I have to really stop saying that before I start my post everytime but I can’t help it!

To all my readers who are still faithfully clicking on my blog link every few days hoping for updates, I thank you for your devotion. I hereby promise for the millionth time that I will update every few days. PROMISE ok if not you can come ta my si fat.

Let’s see what I’ve been up to…so many things I don’t even know where to begin actually! In terms of work, it’s been quite crazy lately. If you don’t remember, I’m currently interning with Teach For Malaysia to help them with recruitment for their first cohort. Personally, I’ll be joining as well next year to be a teacher in a high-need and challenging school.

I’ve probably talked about it a million times now, but if you’re new to my blog or have been missing out, Teach For Malaysia is basically a 2-year leadership development program that aims to end education inequity by placing 50 of Malaysia’s top talents in underperforming schools for two years. In that two years, these Fellows are expected to not only significantly raise academic achievement of children who have long been neglected and have always been told that they’re never good enough, Fellows also have to work closely with corporate sectors to run community projects.

It’s an amazing platform for anyone – those who have just graduated and are looking for something meaningful, fulfilling and challenging, and those who have been working for a while and are looking for a fresh new challenge. We’re also looking for experienced teachers to be part of our training team, so if you know a reallllllly good and dedicated teacher, DO LET ME KNOW!

I’m so excited to start teaching actually!! I just visited a school last week and I got really scared at first because the teachers there kept warning us that it will be incredibly hard to teach in high-need schools, what more really making significant changes. But I later thought to myself, of course it’s going to be hard! If it was easy and if the job only entails going into a classroom of children who are all super eager to learn and to be inspired, then who am I kidding! What’s the point of me being there then?

It’s extremely daunting but exciting to note that next year, we’re really starting a social movement. Because education is a business of multipliers and ripple effects, we will definitely be changing more lives than we can imagine. Maybe we will inspire all the students in our classrooms, or maybe we will only change ONE life, but can you imagine the impact it’ll have on that student’s family, and his future family, and their future families?

Who knows, maybe we will really achieve that systemic change we’re aiming for. After that two years, I’m sure all 50 of us will go on to do great things in the education sector, leveraging on our hands-on experiences in these challenging classrooms. And then the next year, another 50, and another 50. Who knows what all of us will be later on – teachers, principals, policy makers, lawmakers, ministers or even prime minister! The possibilities are endless! And I haven’t even started talking about the possibilities for these children whose lives are changed because they’re finally given equal access to excellent education.

*suddenly get all teary

The hardest part for me right now is to remain positive about things despite the looming cobbled path ahead. I’m sure I will face not only resistance from these children, but also from teachers in these schools as well. But I’ve already signed up for this so just have to pretend sand got in my eyes everytime a kid bullies me to tears T___T

Also have to stock up on my baju kurung. Who got leftover baju kurungs that they don’t want, sila donate to a good cause. I wore baju kurung to my school visit and immediately all the teachers knew I was going to be a teacher too. Wah confirm it’s gonna be my uniform from now on!

Crazy amount of people waiting for the train the other day. After a while, commuting to and from work with the KTM doesn’t seem that bad anymore. Howย privilegedย I’ve been, complaining about the train when people are sooo accustomed to it. I usually read my Kindle in the train, but sometimes I rather people-watch and study the demographic of the other commuters. I’m extremely humbled by all of you, and as a kind gesture of humility, I will remember to spray perfume before I go to work (but not too much).

This is my colleague, Fareeza, who’s about the funniest person I know. She was so proud of her reverse parking until we came out and saw that it was completely senget -______- this is her going “aiya ok what”

I spent last weekend (before Bersih weekend) at Genting with my high school friends. It was incredibly fun cause we spent the whole day at the theme park!!! ^_^ I’ve never played bumper cars before so I kept driving the car round and round the outer area, completely avoiding the massive orgy of collisions in the center area, cos it just feels so liberating to drive the car! I don’t know why!! People who were watching us must have thought I have never driven a car before, so jakun and weird that I’m not bumping my car with the rest but I was happily driving around them on my own wtf

My most favorite ride ever!!!! I’ve completely forgotten how it feels like to be on this thing, and was pleasantly surprised that it feels so goddamn good!!! I love thrill rides, I would love to go ten more times but the queue was painfully long ๐Ÿ™

We took tons of purikura pictures after that ^_^ So fun I love you guys!!

Very sad cos mom strictly prohibited me from joining the rally >=(

Jiameei and I got new nail colors! I love my purple ones but really wanted to get yellow too!

Alex sent me a bouquet of roses last week. I guess it’s quite romantic…………if only I didn’t have to take the train with it! Somemore it was exceptionally packed that day and everyone was staring cock at me for taking up so much space. Doesn’t help that the leaves kept tickling their faces hahaha wtf

Ok the end of this week’s updates. I WILL BLOG MORE AFTER THIS PROMISE! I give you full permission to ta my si fat (beat my backside) if I don’t blog in more than one week.

OH YEAH, I’m a very happening person this week!

1. Dominic gave me two tickets to watch Dreamgirls by Broadway Academy this Wed!!! SUPER HAPPY!!! Will definitely talk about it later ๐Ÿ˜€

2. Going to Urbanscapes too! Who else is going? See you there ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Going to talk to Taylor’s students this Sat about Teach For Malaysia! If you’re from Taylor’s and would like to know about the program, come for the info session this Sat 10am-12pm! Not sure where wtf go ask your office

Ok the end babai

p.s: for some reason, comments don’t show after you’ve submitted them. will fix it soon.