23 02 15, I’ve been looking forward to this day since August. The day when I start a new chapter in my life in a totally new environment. Just last year, I would say “i’m going to study abroad next year”, and just last month, i’d say “i’m going to study overseas next month”, and just last week, i’d say that “i’m going to study abroad next week” and yesterday, i’d say that “i’m leaving tomorrow.”
And today, i’d say that “i’m leaving tonight.”
And honestly, the last 5 months didn’t feel that long. What have I been doing anyway?
Other than catching up on dramas, I really haven’t been doing much. And I was just thinking, when will my next 5 months break arrive? Not any time soon I realised as I looked through my enrolment package. I will be spending the next 4 years in a foreign land. Though i’m feeling excited as hell, deep inside, i’m also experiencing a small degree of fear. I don’t know what to expect. And i’m also glad that my parents and sister will be following me there for the first two weeks so at least I won’t be bawling my eyes out.
– ok so I drafted that post and its the 25th of feb, my 2nd day in Perth –
When we first arrived in Perth, I was really quite put off by the quietness and remoteness of this City when i first arrived but then I realised that it was 2am and shouldn’t be expecting much crowd on a 6,418km² land area with a population of less than 2 million (Singapore’s land size is 716.1km² with a population of 5 million). So then the day came, and we headed to the city of Perth, Hay Street which is the equivalent of Singapore’s Orchard Road. Once again, it wasn’t very crowded. And there weren’t a lot of shopping malls as compared to in Singapore. But one thing about Perth that i’m starting to like is its sky. It’s filled with clouds in the day, and stars in the night which makes night time so much more cosy? I don’t know but personally, I really like watching stars. Visually, the clouds are beautiful to watch in the day, but the weather is unbelievably dry. And hot. It’s almost similar to the weather at Sentosa during this period. (Jan-March)
– ok so guess who didn’t finish up the post again –
Anyway, it’s 5th of March ; my 10th day in Perth and my first day of school. Back in SG, first day of school was usually fun-packed with all the games, new friends and orientation activities. So very naturally, I was rather excited to get started on school. Woke up at 7, got ready and reached school by 8 (in which I was actually supposed to report at 8:30 – well, this is what we Singaporeans call kiasu back at home) with the help of my dad and the car we rented for the 2 weeks. (haha bet you thought I went to school on public transport? Nah, haven’t really figured my way around which sucks cause my family is going back to SG on Sat and i’ll be alone from then on – sigh).
So after I arrived in school, or I would say campus, went to the registration counter (it’s not like registration in pri/sec sch or JC where registration takes place in a hall with 700+ people, it was under a tent, outdoor, with 2 counters and there were less than 200 people, mostly Asians). After registration, I sat with this girl after looking at her from a distance and realizing that she probably belongs to a place near Singapore as well and that we are kinda family, you know what I mean? So I approached the table she was sitting at and took a seat. (Nobody actually asks for seats here so…) and then, a conversation started. It was so cool ok, like i’d expect a conversion between 2 Asians to be awkward and stuff but turns out, she was from an international school and has amazing communication skills HAHAHA. And then, a Korean and China student came along and we made friends HAHAH so like within 10 mins of my “enrolment” or registration into the college, I made 3 friends of different nationality. How cool is that.
Oh and after all the registration was completed, we were seperated into our different foundation groups like foundation for commerce, health sciences, engineering etc. And turns out that Celine, my friend from KL, Malaysia is in the same foundation class as me. Had those mini first-day-of-school talk, and the modules/units that we were supposed to enrol ourselves in, and got to arrange our own timetable (which probably was the best part of the whole orientation because guess who doesn’t have school on Wednesdays and Thursdays aka late nights in Perth, and school is from 1:30-5:30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays ;)). And Celine and I have exactly the same timetable HAHA. Friends.
So after enrolment, we were provided with free lunch which who knew, ended up with us being Infront of 65 boxes of pizzas. Yes, 65 boxes of pizzas. For like 150 of us. BUT 65 BOXES OF PIZZA DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE??? No? It looks like heaven on Earth. There was like vegetarian, cheese, beef, and like some other pizzas. Basically, it was the best orientation lunch I’ve ever had in my entire schooling life. And after lunch, we were supposed to join a campus tour which no one specifically told us if it was compulsory or not so my new friend and I decided to give it a miss and went ahead to the bookstore (which is massive as compared to the “Popular” bookstore and usual bookshop we have in SAJC and sec sch). It’s like two storeys, probably the size of a classroom with about 40 tables? (My sec 4 classmates could use 4/1 classroom as a reference – it’s like about 1 1/2 the size of 4/1?).
So the first storey sold usual stuff like the Uni shirt, stationeries, notebooks, magazines, FOOD and LONGBOARDS. While the second level sells mostly the necessary textbooks for courses in the uni ranging from business to health sciences to therapy to like many others. And they sold the uni hoodies which I would say, looks quite nice. And so, we bought the textbooks we needed for the first sem and a SmartRider Card which is the equivalent of a EZLink Card in SG. And in total, we spent AUD416 EACH. $406 on 4 books. Isn’t that just scary. Like in secondary school, i’d simply buy a new book whenever I misplace/dirty it because it probably would cost me like $20 max?? But no, at a “college” in Australia, a book that introduces you to Computing costs $135, and an accounting book which is basically 300 pages of printed notes costs $75. (Like literally 75 bucks). Well, one shouldn’t be surprised by the high living expense here where water costs more than milk. Welcome to Australia everyone.
So after the “fun-filled” day of choosing my units, eating pizza, spending $400 on textbooks which I doubt would ever be put to good use, this bring orientation day one (and also the last day of orientation) to an end. Can’t wait for school to start on Monday but kinda bummed over the fact that I placed Computing and Communication on Monday which makes it my longest day of the week with 8 hours of school. Computing and Communication sounds so boring. I flipped through the TB for both and the TB for computing was basically filled with pictures of electronic devices, and programming stuff?? And Communication TB is just a book with a lot of comprehension-like practices. Lesson will probably be just another English lesson with hopefully, more interactive teachers (ahem, Mrs Seet). And yay, I have Accounting on Tues afternoon and Marketing which doesn’t sound as bad as Computing on Friday afternoon. Disappointed that I can’t do Econs and Math in this semester though. Like I should do 2 units that i’m more familiar with, and 2 that are new to me per semeste so at least I don’t feel that lost. But now, i’m doing 3 unknown units and 1 known so…
Oh ok so anyway, after school, dad brought all of us to a rifle range. It was seriously so cool ok. Like I got to shoot a 0.22 Bolt Action Rifle, 0.22 Semi Auto Pistol and a 9mm CZ SP01 (shooting this was so scary that I ran out after I shot the first one, because the recoil was so bad). Starting with the bolt action rifle, it was plain tiring.
Considering the tiny room that we were in (live firing range), and that my mum, dad and I were inside, we didn’t really have much space to strike a decent posture or whatsoever so we sort of just ended up squatting awkwardly like ducks as the rifle was so heavy and was tied to a table infront of us, not allowing us to like bring the rifle up to eye level while standing and also, as it isn’t automatic, we have to manually reload the ammunition/bullets after every shot which means that you can’t continuous shoot like in those action films = have to put down the gun, reload, bring it up, and re-aim. (not forgetting the fact that it’s super heavy as well).
And what was even more tiring was that, you really can’t move while you’re aiming through the scope cause every single movement causes the rifle to move a lot so you kinda have to freeze there and try to find the target through the scope which really wasn’t easy at first. As for me, after picking up the rifle with my right hand, and realizing that I can’t see shit, I then realised that it’d be more comfortable if I used my dominant eye/side which is my left eye. So I ended up holding the gun with my left hand and aiming with my left eye, and shot 6 rounds consecutively and surprisingly, I think I had quite a good score for a beginner!
After finishing 50 rounds on the rifle, we moved on to the Semi Auto Pistol WHICH WAS FUN CAUSE YOU COULD SHOOT CONTINUOUSLY HAHAHAHAA. It was so addictive but my palms were sweating quite badly and I couldn’t really support my left hand on the pistol properly, not mentioning the fact that the pistol is tiny as compared to the rifle. After the 50 rounds on the pistol, we moved on to the CZ which is super scary to shoot with. I shot once and that was it HAHAHA I was scared by the recoil and the loudness of the shot. So I got out.
And what sucks is that, you’re actually locked in a shooting range. And the only way to get out is to get the (i suppose) person-in-charge’s (probably watching the CCTV of the ranges) attention by switching on a bulb in the room. And due to safety reasons, I guess he has to observe if we are off the gun, and are intending to carry out any harmful acts (which we can’t really considering that the gun is tied to the table, and movement is restricted). So it took the person a good 2 mins for him to rescue me HAHAHAA. But all was well after that. So anyway, we left the rifle range and headed home for the day and that’s about it!!
Thanks for enduring this unnecessarily long post, friends!! :-)
<blockquote> Oh and for those who sent me off at the airport, thank you for being willing to travel, what more to the other end of SG for some of you and thank you for taking the time out to say your goodbyes even though I may still be going back to Singapore for holidays and maybe, even after my studies. So i just want to do a small dedication for you guys cause I really appreciate it even though sending me off may not be a big deal for you guys :)
Thank you to my family who has been showering me with love ever since forever. My two aunties who have studied in Curtin 20+- years ago have given me numerous useful advices on Uni life and generally life skills when living in Perth. My grandma who never fails to cry while thinking about me being all alone in a foreign land, who will always ask me to wash my baby pillow/Chou Chou (you know, the item that you’d have to have to fall asleep ever since young?). All these are episodes of love that one would easily pass off as blabbers and naggings till you don’t hear them for a period of time. I love my family so much and I will try my best to make you guys proud :-))
Thanks Jolene, Tricia and Alison for coming!! You guys have been fun friends to have around last year and like Sec 3.
Thank you Hee Seung and Gaya for sending me off. You guys are friends I’ll never forget in this life of mine. Hee Seung, there’s just so many things I want to tell you now, but I can’t because you don’t seem to have your phone with you and I just want to say that I really really love you and you’re my bestest friend ever.
Thanks Maxel for sending me off! I always tell you in cards that I still find the story of how we got close amusing. And how we were so close in secondary school and drifted when we entered the same JC. I miss our friendship though haha. But nevertheless, you have been and always will be a great person to consult, and talk to. You are an overachiever, you know that? Thank you sending me off even though you had lessons after that :-)
Thanks Natalie and Tiffany for sending me off!! Tbh, you both are friends i’d never thought i’d be this close to. Like on the outside, it just doesn’t look like we have anything in common? We don’t have the same taste in fashion or similar character or passion or bias or whatever. But somehow, we can click. Thanks for the thoughtful present guys haha ;-)
And lastly, thanks Kvell for everything man. From supporting me through prelims, O levels, MSAs and CTs. If teachers were my pillar of strength, you’d be my pillar of support. Really wouldn’t have done it without all of your encouragement. Thank you for everything. Even though I had to take this path, really, thank you for everything you’ve done along the way :-) Even though there’s a chance that most of you wouldn’t get to read these post, these are just my feelings and whatever I’ve said here isn’t sugar-coated. Love you all ♡ </blockquote>