Post-Perth Blues

KUL-PER, 15th Oct
PER-KUL, 17th Oct

Why have I decided to blog about this now? Because I miss the trip dearly, and I realised I haven’t written in soo long. So forgive me for that because I have moods for everything and for today, its writing.

So I essentially stole a few days of my schedule from school, and joined my two high school mates to their trip to Perth. In total they went for 7 days, while I, 3. Yes, I know you’re wondering – whose stupid enough to go for only 3 days? why are you wasting money? are you just crazy?

Honestly, (1) I didn’t mind, and (2) I just wanted to escape for a bit, and (3) I can’t possibly skip the whole week of school, and I have my dear friends there who has contacts there. It’s kind of an impromptu trip and I didn’t plan for one single thing. And one of the crucial things about this is that my mum agreed to this – which never happens. Love you, muma.

Here’s to many firsts during this short trip!

While the rest took their flight from Singapore, I flew from Kuala Lumpur, because why not. And it’s way cheaper! This was my first solo plane trip so I was pretty psyched and nervous about it. Let me tell you a short example of how daft I can be. While I was checking in for my flight, they asked whether I’ve applied for my VISA. shit. I didn’t know I had to apply for it to go to Perth. So I said no, and I asked them what should I do. Mind you, it was a few minutes to gate opening. The woman said not to worry, it takes a few minutes to apply online. Wallah I was so relieved to hear that. I think I heard my heart crashed a while ago. I quickly applied my VISA and paid AUD20 with my Mastercard, got my ass on the plane, buckled and ready to leave Malaysia. Risky business, tsk tsk. (Solo flight to a foreign country, check)

My arrival in Perth was a few hours earlier from them so Sof’s mum will be picking me up. She and her family migrated while she was still a young lass and they stayed there ever since.

I walked around the airport and got myself coconut water (my ultimate favourite drink, do take note) and was already greeted by a polite young man. It was nice, and it was new to me as that wasn’t the culture of Singapore, not even KL.

One of the reasons that made me fall in love with Perth was the warm, welcoming and friendly citizens.

As soon as the sliding doors slid open when I was about to exit, a gush of chill wind flew in and shook me to the core. I quickly checked the weather report and it said 14 – fourteen -degrees celsius! I had never experience that kind of cold air and I was pretty shocked because weeks back I remembered checking the forecast and it said during the dates of my travel that it would be 32 degrees. Clearly I didn’t prepare for this kind of situation (clearly I didn’t prepare at all). I waited by the pick-up point and I was rubbing my hands to keep myself warm. The wind had a different agenda for me apparently.

20 mins away from the airport, I reached Riverton, where they were residing. The whole neighbourhood was beautiful and quaint, very cozy. They had a lavender and rosemary bush right outside their porch. I settled down and explored the house a bit. Just like how I pictured my retirement home – by the river, garden of my own, an adequate cooking area and an extremely cozy living room. So a fact about me, I am not a fan of mutton. I can however eat it when it’s heavily marinated, when the gamy smell has gone. Sof’s mum offered me but I was hesitant. I gave in anyway, curious about Australian lamb if there’s any difference at all. Straight outta the freezer and into the hot pan. Threw in a bit of spices, sizzled a few minutes on each side and onto my plate with a dash of himalayan salt and a side of cooked asparagus drizzled in olive oil. Lord, this got me salivating as I’m typing this. To my surprise, there was only a faint gamy smell and it didn’t bother me at all! My nose and tastebuds were very very pleased.

Night came and Sof’s mum drove me to Freemantle straight where we’ll meet the rest of the girls after Sof picked them up. What’s coming to Australia without having their fish and chips (Checking that off my list)! Friends of the family came over as well and they were young women of different ethnicity and all of them settled down here since young as well. Beautiful girls, beautiful hearts. We had a night of laughter and goofing around, accompanied by seafood and desserts, and a couple of delicious hot cocoa. Twas a great first night!

Come next day we had to wake up really early to prepare for our trip to Rockingham. The only reason I went to Perth. To swim with wild dolphins! Finally, a time I can be a true mermaid. We waited at the end of the dock, with a group of people who signed up or the trip. Had our pleasantries and off we go in the small yacht. Settled the remaining payments and got into our wet suits. All the time I was excited and scared – for the experience and for the *cold* water. “Look, there they are!”, shouted someone. We rushed to look at the direction he was pointing and there we saw it, fins poking out of the sea. I felt a rush of excitement and thrill. I was so ready to jump in the water to meet them. We took turns to be in the water so that everyone had a chance.

The moment I stepped into the slightly clouded water, I felt the cold blanketing around me and I tried my best to calm my nerves. After a few deep breaths, I placed my head in the water and my vision was fixed onto a moving grey body, gracefully twirled and darted in every direction. There were 3 of them, within reach. Not only did I get the experience of swimming among them, I got to hear the sounds they make underwater. The squeaks and clicks of echolocation and communication. Subhanallah, for a moment I forgot about my worries, I forgot about school, I forgot about the cold surrounding me. For a moment I felt alive and free, I felt a newer sense of appreciation for everything. (Swim with dolphins, check)

I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to be under, I wanted to live among these wild and beautiful creatures.

We went for a series of three times and I felt that was enough for me. The cold was getting to me and I couldn’t handle it anymore. Heck, I was shivering! To give a bit of warmth I poured hot water down my suit. It didn’t help much but either that or nothing. We spent about 3 hours at sea in total and we were back on land. Despite the cold, we had to have ice-cream after that. It was yummy and for a good deal! The scoops were huge and we were satisfied. Went home after to drop our things and we followed the mother to hike and fish. Ah, this was when I realised I had struck myself out. I left my outerwear. Oops I did it again.

Come nightfall, I was already shivering and on the floor on the jetty. I wrapped myself using the mat and I couldn’t even hold a rod to fish the first time. The wind was mighty strong and I was trying hard to regulate my breathing. Amidst the cold winds and floating seagulls and delicious cookies, I witnessed the supermoon (October 16th), it was massive, bright and beautiful. I saw it creep out slowly from the bottom – you can actually see it rising. I couldn’t help but to praise God, for arranging the world in such beautiful manner, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. (Watch the supermoon in another country, check. Night fishing, check)

La Lune – it glows and lights up the darkness, it gives a new perspective to the world, a softer feature, a whole other mystery.

We ended the night with pizza and went all around town. The nightlife at the time was not busy. Probably of the cold and I guess people would rather cozy up in their houses and warm their feet. I wish I could too but that’s the beauty of life. You can’t experience everything with the small amount of time you have and you just gotta find what’s worth doing. If that means being out in the freezing cold night to be around amazing people, then so be it.

The final day, for me. Sof brought us all shopping around town because I had a list and I just can’t go home without gifts for my fam. I got a little carried away in the malls because (1) the items are so friggin cheap – especially the snacks, and (2) they have all the things I want for my home – utensils, decor, household items etc., and (3) they have self-checkout counters which accepts cash! I mean Singapore needs that. The whole world needs that. It would make our lives so much easier. I got muma a Pandora essence bracelet and a small charm which signifies wisdom and my cousin whose getting married, a small April charm, a birth month we share. Oh, and because of Sof, I became a believer. I’m addicted to Lush products now! I bought a bunch of things and they’re mighty cheap over there and I can’t help but feel like a garden fairy after using the products. Already thinking of getting my Aussie cousin whose coming down next month to buy me more products. Tempting.

After all that shopping and packing, they got their things to go for a camping road trip after sending me off to the airport. So jealous, but another time maybe for me, hehe. I reached the airport and straight to check-in. There I met a cute counter guy and yes my hand carry exceeded the weight limit. And I had to pay AUD50. Great. But anywho, after I passed security and got myself a bag of chips and water, I proceeded to the gate. Guess who was there to greet me – the cutie! I handed my passport and he said, “Hey, we meet again! I hope you enjoy your flight”. Can I bring you back home? Just get on the plane with me already.

I reached KLIA about 10.30pm after a few hours of chatting with a relatively old Australian man during the trip. He shared many life experiences and advices I could use. He was wise and positive-minded. I didn’t even catch his name, but I’ll always remember him. Upon arrival, I said my dues, wished him the best in life and we parted ways. Alerted my transported and I waited for my ride.

Back to reality.

Although the trip was short, it was amazing and memorable. It gave me life lessons and gave me a whole new experience. The ups and downs tied this whole trip together and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I might have missed out a few stories or events here and there, but I guess it’s for me then. Looking forward to my next trip there, but this time, maybe a little longer. Maybe with my family, insyallah.

P.s Phew that was a lengthy post. I hope I don’t bore you to death.

Attached

I’ve reached the 11th day – counting down days till I officially start my class. Met some people on the way, from Singapore, and from among the locals.

My journey has only just begun, but to my surprise, I had to associate myself with a very complicated person. Funny thing, that person is from my homeland. And I thought affiliations with international people were already a challenge.

Four times I had to deal with said person and all I received was multiple positive and negative gestures – all of which were prominent as characteristics, which I think is highly unavoidable, and I have to accept them as they are.

When I thought I had enough, I realised the one I always go back to, or in times of desperation, or of last resorts, guess who saved the day?

So it’s probably safe to say I need you. In the best way and the worst. And I’m ready to take on whatever you throw at me!

Yours truly,

The pleased client.

Moving Away

For college life! My school is located in Kuala Lumpur, about 343km away from my hometown. Not that impressive, but it’s still away

After much, much, complications and false-hopings, we will be trying our luck to get ourselves INTO the school, by presenting ourselves right under their (admin) noses. After all, we did as were told, and even had all the documents (crazy requests) submitted – including their steep fees. They returned the favor with delaying our notifications, informing us the possibility of a deferment and giving an impossible dateline to surpass. So you’d understand if we will come head-to-head with the office folk in the school. 

As much as I dislike their way of things and the processes, I marvel at the educational curriculums which they currently offer. All I want is to further my studies and fill my brain with new information and knowledge. Expecting so much from a prestigious school, I am willing to close one eye on certain limitations – like unreasonable rules and procedures. 

(And this is me speaking, being a total sourpuss when I’m not officially in yet.) 

Nonetheless, I am very adaptable to my surroundings and I, as usual, will find the light of things. Hopefully I’ve made the right choice in surrendering to their politics so that I may learn. If one has the truest of intentions, what could go wrong, eh? Here’s to me, journeying to the life of independence, adulthood and of a student.