2012: Places

  • Hong Kong
  • Banaue
  • Pampanga
  • Ilo-ilo
  • Quezon City
  • Kuala Lumpur/ Petaling Jaya

"And if you learn to love one place, sometimes you can also learn to love another."
― Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces


Almost the end of sem

UM, MESL Program, 2012
Various photos taken by Sophie, Isai, Farhad, me
With one paper to go (due tomorrow!) and three exams left (that's for the first 2 weeks of January), the semester is nearing its close. There were many new friends made- acquaintances who, in the course of four months, had become people to hang out with, i.e. the three Chinese girls Sophie, Yan, & Luna who are making me realize the misconceptions I had about China, Iranians like Farhad and Elham whose presentation on the Iranian education curriculum remains one of the major eye-openers of the sem, pretty Thai girl Ang who I talk to about boy(friends; ours), shopping, and Thai food, local Adi who has kept me abreast about certain social dynamics in Malaysia, and the many many others who are not in that frame (like Rimi the Nigerian, Ali from Pakistan, and another local, Sara).

I learned a lot from the classes, too. Perhaps more on those when they've been wrapped up.

When the sem started, I was sort of regretting the decision to go. Something had just started and it was back home; at that time I was unsure leaving so soon was the smartest thing to do.

But, see, 4 months later, I didn't really lose any of the things I feared I would. On the contrary, many things were gained, i.e. new survival tactics, adjustment amo, second language learning approaches, etc.) Life has expanded, maybe not exponentially so, but there's expansion there, by at least an inch (or two). :)


Always the case for leaving

It's hard to go. It's scary and lonely and (...) half the time you'll be wondering why the hell you're in Cincinnati or Austin or North Dakota or Mongolia or wherever your melodious little finger-plucking heinie takes you. There will be boondoggles and discombobulated days, freaked-out nights and metaphorical flat tires.
   But it will be soul-smashingly beautiful, Solo. It will open up your life.
- Sugar (Cheryl Strand), Tiny Beautiful Things
*Emphasis, mine


New space

Four months later
Moved into the corner space of our shared area. The "flags" on my desk are various paraphernalia- a Ms. Bertha postcard, my favorite photo of Papa, Bali coffee from the Last Row Traveler, a show catalogue from the National Visual Arts Gallery of Malaysia, a "Sherpa Award" from my previous work. Various books, a board, notebooks, gadgets, a thermos. Things to remind me of work, family, friends, art, &, somewhere tucked in between, love.  

The thing about occupying spaces, i.e. decorating them, putting up personal stuff, is that it makes you feel like you've come home. After 4 months, it looks like I finally "signed" the contract to what was previously just a temporary shop.


A Bird's Song, Ingrid Michaelson

One of Geninne's work-in-progress
(Check her out!)

You know we're not so far away get on a boat, get on a train and if you ever think you're drowning I'll try to slow the rain.  
In two years or so drop me a line, write me a letter I hope to find you're doing better better than today, better everyday. 


Day of rest.

In the midst of all the finals craziness, decided to take it easy today and it's amazing how 12 hours can stretch:
  • Hiked
  • Had a good kopitiam breakfast w/ Karen and Geok Swan, my hiking-buddies & housemates
  • Went to Daiso (tell me, is it possible to get out of any Daiso store in any country empty-handed?!) & found me some tamago-cooking implements and a leatherette-bound notepad
  • Got some envelopes
  • Restocked on groceries
  • Watched one Dr. Who (bagong bisyo! Amy Pond is my new girl crush. As for Dr. Who, well how Brit and adorable can one get?) -- one, just one, else I want to stare at my final papers going down the drain.
  • Tried my hand at Herbed Chicken Soup - something like my ama used to make. It's definitely not as good as hers; it doesn't even come close -- but perhaps that bowl was a start?
  • Squeezed in some time to do the laundry & talk to the boyfriend

Quite a mundane list, I know, I wanted to jot them down to remind myself how blessed I am that I still got to find time for things like these in spite of life's hecticness. Plus, I also just entered my 30s and have probably spent all my money in the bank to get some education. Nonetheless, I want to celebrate these simple, joyful things I still get to enjoy.

Now, I think I'm ready for some work-work and schoolwork. Students and final papers, let's get it on.