Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mortar boards and Convocation Robes

The anticipation of this one special day flew in a blink of an eye. I remember checking the uni’s website for updates, banking in money for the ceremony, making the necessary arrangements for function which ended in less than 3 hours!

My friends and I at long last (5 years feels like an eternity if you study in Cowboy Town uni) graduated last Sunday in a very short and sweet ceremony. For the first time this year, the convocation was broken into 2 sessions as the number of graduates has increased tremendously from the previous years.

I wished I took an individual shot of my robes coz they were huge!! I looked so funny in it, it felt like a bat suit! I spotted my family with ease as we walked to our seats. I saw three pair of hand waving furiously with huge smiles plastered on their faces; my sisters and Lil J so excited to see me. And my dearest, super energized aunt, Aunt Sugar who came armed with a video camera to capture every moment of the day.

When I stood up to sing the uni song, I actually felt quite sad. I couldn’t bring myself to sing the last verse lest the tears welled in my eyes trickle down my face. I looked upon the choir group and smiled. Here are a bunch of juniors, singing their heart out and wearing the uniform I fondly remember. I was in the first choir group to officiate the white blouses, black skirts and ribbons.

I have witnessed 3 convocation ceremonies, seeing my seniors walk up with pride and such joy on their faces. But being the one going up on stage is worlds apart from seeing everything at the stands. The six seconds of fame, receiving my scroll from Tun Mahathir were defining moments of my life. Every step I took brought me to another milestone in my life, I’m officially a graduate.

The day was filled with mixed emotions. I’m really proud to have made it, to reach the end of the road. All the studying (and copying also, must give credit lah), staying up till the wee hours of the morning completing our thesis, projects, endless reports ect. was truly worth all the blood, sweat and tears. Getting to convocation had been a most interesting journey where an 18 year old girl grew up to be a mature adult just stepping into the corporate world. I really grew up, made loads of friends I will keep for life, a solid foundation for work and am stronger, wiser, better.

Here are some memories of the special 24th August 2008.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Work Force

It’s my second day of work and there’s really little going on for me to talk about. I’m in a group of 5 people with me as the only girl. I have a Boss, his boss whom I call the Big Boss is a strict-looking lady but since I’m not reporting to her, I hope I don’t have to bee worried too much. And then there is the Big Boss’s boss I call the Biggest Boss. I have yet to meet the last two individuals. Those with the title Big in front are very busy mah.

It is also an adjustment period from student life to a working adult. It sometimes slip my mind that I’m not an intern anymore like my previous working experience. This time I will be taking on more and heavier responsibilities and be accountable for a wider range of things.

Have you tried making friends with people in their 40’s and 50’s who enjoy talking about the families and kids? Trust me, I don’t relate beyond a certain extent.

I need to think of a nick name for my company and my group. To make things clearer, there are 6 groups that makes up my department so yeah. Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Place to Call Home

I know this post is long overdue but here it is.

Looking for a place to call my new home was an adventure. I did stay in KL while I was doing my internship, however because I didn’t have the luxury of time and money, I settled very quickly for an old flat 15 minutes walk from the station. It was quaint to add character to its brown walls, parquet floor and aging plumbing and wiring.

That place where I stayed for 8 months was never home. It didn’t feel like home, I had no sense of belonging or want in that space I shared with 2 classmates, a girl from Vietnam and another from Mozambique. For me, that place provided me shelter from the sun and rain and bed to sleep on but still, it lacked that attachment we all have to home.

Therefore, this time around, I wanted a place with an element of home to it. Of course, no place can replace my home, the place I grew up in, had all my treasured memories and where old friends are always at the corner.

But I was looking for that magic factor, one that beams at you the instant you step into the house / condo/ hut or whatever it is people live in. It has to feel right, like I’m welcomed there, cosy and the warmth of the place exudes from the very walls of the rooms.

Thus began my house hunt.

I decided to go for 2 locations, Location A which is pretty near my soon to be workplace. And Location B which is further but where I have most of my friends living there.

The search began on Friday and I viewed 3 places, with one possibility. On Saturday morning, I saw another 2 more in Location A, and one completely stood out like a knight in shining armor reaching out to me saying “Pick me to call your new home”. It had all the right elements, the price was right, the owner very pleasant and as a bonus, it comes with a swimming pool! The major downside, I’ll be all alone here coz none of my friends live anywhere nearby. So I decided to continue my search before making my final decision.

Friday Evening: Went over to Location B via LRT and I had no luck with places. As I was about to leave, I bumped into an ex-uni mate at the station. She heard my story and wanted to help me out. So she got her car over and brought me around the whole area, visiting several 7-Elevens to get contact numbers and showing me places suitable for rent.

I was really touched because here is a girl I barely know, we’ve only met say 5 times (since we’re not classmates and uni is a HUGE place), and she still went all the way out to help me, a person who is practically a stranger to her to look for a place to stay. I consider myself exceptionally blessed to have bumped into such a kind person. You know the saying; a friend in need is a friend indeed. She wears that badge proudly.

The next day, I met up with a senior from Uni who also helped me took for a place to stay in Location B. we went to countless places, circling and searching but I couldn’t find one. So I figured I would stay in Location A at the place I really liked. On my way back, my friend called me to say a housemate is moving out and I can take over the room.

I was ecstatic! Coz I’ve been to my friends place and it definitely feels like home. And the room, it’s much bigger, more comfortable and guess what, they cost the same. So yeah, I got everything I wanted in my new home and more, I have friends nearby to boot.

Blessed is quite the understatement to all that have taken place recently and for that I’m exceptionally grateful. I have a decent job in the location I’ve always wanted and now I’ve got a fantastic small lil place to call my own. I have friends who care and go the extra mile to assist me. Fellow bloggers and acquaintances also chipped in ideas and gave some very useful tips and guides. There were some random strangers who spotted a lost girl looking right and left, and pointed me to the right directions.

To every single one whose path I crossed in my journey for a place to call home, I thank you very very much. Words cannot express my gratitude of you helping a small town girl in a giant metropolitan city.

I am truly blessed. For that, I thank You.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rumah Baru

I do have quite a bit to write bout my adventures in looking for a place to stay and the amazing friends who helped me out so much plus very kind strangers also making my search smoother. However, i'm pretty tired and the Olympics is robbing me of my attention for now.

But to cut it short, i found a decent place to stay and I'm really happy. It was bugging me for the last week about getting a place and i'm so glad i got a place i like, meets all criteria and i'll be with close friends. What more can i ask for?


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Clinic Trauma-Rama

I could barely open my eyes this morning. After two months of being on holiday, getting up early is no longer my forte although I believe 8.30am can still be considered dawn to many people. So after endless eye rubbing, yawning and non-breakfast morning (had to fast since 10pm last night, oh how I miss my late night snacks) I drove a good 40 minutes to the company panel clinic for my medical check up.

When I stepped into the clinic, all my sleepiness vanished in an instant. I was appalled at the condition of the clinic. It is so freaking old, I was worried the roof was going to collapse on me. The walls were various shades of yellow and brown with most of the wall paper decaying. The wooden doors leading to the doctor’s office were partially eaten by termites. The air was stiff and musty and stank of the horrible hospital-liked-antiseptics. The corners of the clinic had at least 10 years worth of dust positioned beautifully right next to the registration counter.

A healthy person like me felt sick at once. I repeat, I came in healthy; I went out not-so-healthy.

How can someone call this place a clinic?! It is absolutely disgusting and shocking that the reputable organisation which gave me a job could send me for a medical check-up in a place not fit for living masked as a clinic. The hushed whispers and incessant mutterings under my breath between my sister and I were clear indications of my disbelief to the lady who sat next to me.

I am still horrified at the conditions of the clinic. I have visited a number of clinics over the years and while some may be old, they are impeccably clean and neat. Here, even the seats were broken and the cushion covers tattered with I think a gazillion trillion hideous gnawing germs lurking at ever atomic particle that constitutes the place. Eeeiiii…. i still have goose bumps just thinking of the place.

So there was no surprise when the doctor told me he couldn’t detect a reading of my blood pressure, there wasn’t even a pulse! Hello, if I had no pulse, takkan I’m a dead person talking to him right? Only on the 4th attempt a reading could be taken.

The blood test? Another hilarious story. Here I am all prepared for my blood test hoping I don’t faint and the doctor couldn’t draw enough blood. I saw the vial filled halfway and then suddenly there was no more blood flowing so he pierced deeper (oooucch!) and there was a lil more blood and again he went deeper. Next time choose a bigger vein la. Those 10 minutes were the longest blood drawing session I ever had. Oh, my fear of fainting? Didn’t happen. I think I was just in a hurry to get out of that place.

Ooh, that’s not all. I couldn’t conduct my X-Ray, lung capacity test and audio test because they don’t have such facilities so I was referred to another clinic in town, another 40 minutes drive from this clinic. So, if they don’t have all these facilities, how did they become a panel clinic? Shouldn’t all tests be conducted in one location instead of transferring the patients, and so far away too I might add. Thank heavens the second clinic was wayyyyyyyyy better.

If this is an indication of my future working conditions in the organisation, I’m afraid of what to expect. The brew of dissatisfaction, repulsion, astonishment and fear is not working so well in my stomach. Or it could be that darn clinic.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Things to do

The thing about getting a job is that there are so many forms to be filled. My offer letter came with a thick wad of forms for all sorts of things like EPF, medical check-up, letter of agreement etc. It brings back memories of those days when I filled up all these forms for my sponsorship. While they are pretty easy to fill up, a lot of supporting documents are needed. And here I thought my days of making copies for my certificates and letters are over. On top of that, I'll be going back to school to get the documents certified as true original copies. I kinda pity the teacher who would be doing the certification coz his or her hand will be tired from the entire signature signing once I’m done.

Speaking of medical check-ups, it involves a blood test. Now I’m not exactly jumping up and down about this. I don’t have a fear of needles but I faint each time I draw blood and it’s a really scary feeling. I first discovered this in school when I was undergoing the Hepatitis B vaccination. Prior to that, the nurse has to take a blood sample to see if I already have the antibodies. As usual, boys were being whims (ok la, I was just in a hurry to not miss Bio class), so I was the first one. Needle in, needle out and voila, I was back in Bio Lab.

But about 10 minutes later, I started sweating profusely, I couldn’t hear a thing, the world was spinning like a never ending gasing ride and eventually everything started turning hazy white. Luckily my friend caught me right before I collapsed. This happened again when I underwent my medical check-up for uni. This time around, I was better prepared. I got my friends to stand by just in case and I made sure I sat down. True enough, I went all weak-limb about 10 minutes after the blood test. So the girl who stood before me who cried while blood was drawn gripping my hand tight till my hand turned white ended up taking care of me. The world works in strange ways sometimes.

Mum was really worried the first time around. She insisted I went to the doctor for a check-up to rule out anemia. The doctor had a good laugh at my story because apparently this situation is more prominent with the males. And that I had nothing to worry about. It happens because the mind takes more time to digest the fact that body has undergone a physical change and due to the delay, it reacts as such. So while I mentally am not afraid and am physically fine, I most likely would still pengsan. Lol.

This time around, I’m bringing Sis S along for my medical check-up. Helluva no way I wanna drive the 40 minute drive home after the blood drawing trauma.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I've Got A Job!

Yes, I'm happy to say that I will no longer be a Professional Slacker slash bummer slash unemployed because I have a job now. Ok, well at least on paper I do. I received my offer letter earlier this afternoon and much to everyone's relief (I wasn't holding my breath, had to be prepared for anything), I am posted to KL! Yippee!!!

I'll be working in the Twin Towers to boot. Woo Hoo!! I'm so very thankful that I did not get thrown into somewhere far far away. I had 5 years in a tiny town for my uni years, seriously, I could do with a metropolitan city for a change. Melaka does not count as a city, when I'm optimistic, Melaka is a town.

Speaking of which, I am now looking for a place to stay in KL. Any suggestions? A criterion is it must be located anywhere along the Kelana Jaya LRT Line as I don't own a car and would rely on public transportation to work. So Congratulations to me *beaming perasan-ly*