Thursday, March 31, 2011

[Day 29]: Overseas Angst

"Every friggin' time I get this stressed and I smoke, I'll get lung cancer in 1 hour!"
That just popped up in my head somewhere. I guess it's from the constant aerial attack of my neighboring dorms' tobacco stench. Ugh. Could you imagine if that statement is true for me and I smoked because someone else's smoking stressed me out? Talk about a ironic paradox.

Yesterday was certainly better. Well not really. I got food poisoned from a store I patronized for the past 3 weeks. My stomach has been grumbling to me ever since this morning and I might as well just sleep at the restroom for I have made my personal mark at cubicle number 1. HAHA. 

I don't know why but 2 friends got it bad last night. And we ate at the same time! I accompanied them to the hospital just because I was trying to debunk the rumor of a seated toilet bowl in one of UESTC's primary building. And you know how my dorm-mates were craving for this. But didn't at last, what happened was that I got a sneak peak to the privatized healthcare system of UESTC. Not China, but UESTC. Besides, I hardly see any China dude sporting a runny nose or a fever patch.

I'll save for political insights later. 

But yesterday was much better. But today was pure disgusting. Not only I had to combat my stomach but that annoying, irritating, demonic voice that resides in my head. I mean c'mon, enough with this sucky feeling. Just tell her la. Am I just like a ghost to you? And what's with him?! Ass. 

Competition is good but fair play is appreciated please. I'm this close, this close, to just kick him in the nuts.

So here's my deal:
  • Got food poisoning
  • Rashes abound; Bad blood circulating
  • Being ghost
  • Terrible angst in my mind
Yup, China is treating me fine. Ugh. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I can’t do a single shit. When I was assisting a friend of mine in Math, all I could do was just nod and say nothing. Sometimes, I was lagging behind by 2 steps. Just sucks man. Ugh.

Making it worst is some wondering thoughts. I mean, really? I really have to feel jealous huh? I must be really invisible, making my actions useless.

Can seriously die now. Fuck.

Monday, March 28, 2011

[Day 26]: Tourist Hate!

So far so good. Again, apologies with the lack of updates. But hey! WHO THE HELL CARES. I got this urge to do blog today since I also have to WRITE my journal comprehensibly. I think I kinda owe like 2 weeks of work. Uhoh. Let me get on with that but anyway, maybe I can share with you what I felt really harsh.

China is treating me quite well. I guess we should ask ourselves how WE are treating China. Roll back to the time we went to Dafu Lane, China’s equivalent of Sim Lim Square but much more organised. And nicer looking too! Imagine streams of salesmen beckoning us into their shop. One even tried to grab me over! It might look like an ‘aggressive’ marketing strategy and sure enough, it did scare some of the girls in our group.

But what surprises me more is how we chose to react to this. We actually just totally ignored them, without even a glance. Back in Singapore, during the monstrous electronic shows at Expo or Suntec, we also have salesmen who lined up at the entrance to give out flyers. Though not as aggressive, my response seems much more humane. I would simply smile at them and gestured my hand away to signify I do not need to kill more trees! See, at the very least, I would just acknowledge them but not in China. We turn away from them as though they are cancer to our lives.

It just makes me wonder how we are having this infectious understanding of China being a pit of evil. In fact, I think we always develop this understanding whenever we go overseas. We start being cautious, reserved, think that every guy at the side of the alley is about to rob you. Exaggerated huh? It seems like our brain's defense or retaliation when we start to leave our comfort zones.

It’s definitely not wrong for sure to be on the safe side. But it’s also not definitely wrong to be nice to our border-bounded neighbours. I just get the feeling that every tourist is like a huge walking target. All we need are darts. Partly true since there are WAY too many scary accounts of theft. But for me, I don’t see this as an excuse to be an ass. And I do see some of my friends’ solution to remove this target by being one. My solution is to, well, don’t be a target! Or rather, don’t be a tourist! I would like to speak with them, sit down and observe their day. Maybe grab some dumplings and then bargain like mad! Haha. Besides, being as ass kinda rules out the "Let's have fun here and be culturally immersed in this place!". An ass just wrecks havoc! In fact, this way helps me to gain a focused understanding of China. A real way to fully understand and appreciate these aspects is to experience them 1-on-1.

So people, let’s be nice to China shall we?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

[Days 1-6]: Okay China, GIVE ME YOUR BEST SHOT!

Okay, I am in Chengdu, China now. It has been cold and my body has been pretty awesome. My body clock wakes me at 650am. And being WIDE AWAKE, I tend to pass time doing sit-ups or get down on the stone cold floors and hit some push-ups. Not exactly a workout but imagine doing 2 reps of 10 in 4 degrees C, your fats have met its FATE!

I'll collectively use this post to update 6 days worth of material. But no worries. It's not that lengthy. OR IS IT?!

March 9th came. Went home at 1am or something. My old classmates of year 1, i assumed, tried to stall me as long as they could KNOWING full well that my flight is in the following morning at 8am. But I packed and all with 4 hours of sleep to spare. Booyeah to that!

Departing at 1040, one can only imagine the immense sense of tense that runs through my veins. However, you will be surprised. As calm, as though nothing happened.

Being a first time traveller, my only experience of airports and planes and departures come from the movie Up in the Air. Not exactly a top choice for source but hey, at least it's worth watching! I don’t know, the notion of “check-in” 2 hours before and linger around the airport seems a bit flawed. Why wonder around aimlessly when in actual fact, you can just board 10 minutes before departure? It just struck me. Like for example, the MRT! It’s the same concept right?!

As fast as I questioned it, I got my answer. Somehow, someway, when you are leaving your temple of comfort or your place of originality or basically leaving something near your heart, time just moves fast. Like a survivor of the recent Japan tsunami, he recalled that the earthquake that preceded was a rigorous shake of 2 minutes but it definitely felt longer than that. And 2 hours felt like 2 minutes in my case.

And it’s for the better good I say. The more you stay grounded, the more chances of seconds thought. Haha.

Well, definitely the same concept could work on THE FLIGHT ITSELF. 4 hours I sat beside my EM3A lecturer. the only conversations I could bring up was how Math was a bitch to me. LOL. In-flight entertainment is yuck. Food makes me wanna throw up. AND OMFG, THE PLANE IS DAMN NOISY. Though Discovery Channel's Air Crash Investigation did not offer any comfort when turbulence came. But overall, it's a-okay. not biggie of a deal.

Landed. The cold weather is nothing compared to the Alps. Just put yourself in NP’s library or in you air-conditioned room and bingo! You get 18 degrees of freezing solitude. Worst still, sweaty palms and feet just makes your hand feeling as it dipped in water. GAH.

I’ll be spending most of my time in the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. It’s a mouthful because it is and the campus is FRIGGIN’ huge. It has about 24,000 students in hostels. It has multiple Makan Place sized canteens, a shopping centre, a pub, a karaoke bar, 2 stadiums, a garden, a man-made pond, a library that reminds me of the Power Ranger’s Megazord. It’s just big. In fact, you see bicycles everywhere and that is the main transport of students around the campus! IT’S THAT BIG!!! And that was Day 2. How UESTC boasted their sheer size.

All I hoped was that I survive. My previous classmates who went before me described a horrendous experience of the living quarters. Especially when SEBASTIAN NEO instils fear every dang time he meets me! ASS. So KX, my room mate and I was stocking up on instant noodles, basic necessities like rages hand soap and all. LIKE WE PREPARING FOR A WINTER LOCK-DOWN. But still not enough. Bah.

Muslim food is fair here. Sebas says the Muslim store I frequent recycles it food. I say YOU GO TO HELL. And anyway, it's kinda good!

But it’s not too bad actually. My other male bunk mates went GAGA on shopping here. Day 3 for Chengdu is like introducing their Orchard Road/ Bugis Street/ Toa Payh equivalent. Haha. Everything there is what I can get in Singapore. BUY FOR WHAT?!

Day 4 is well, just Day 4. SUNDAY GO BAR. HAHA. No really.

One thing though, should have packed more. More canned food. More clothes, sweaters actually. But nothing can prepare us 100%. And studying here seems a bit easier. Without hawks hovering over my every move, there's no room for naggy parents. Also means there is no room for procrastination when you're 2,000 miles away!

Besides, company here is cool. Especially with you. :)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

[Day 0] Flashback Surrealisms Pt 2

As planned, my school mates feltthat the dietary challenge will be a big one and decided that a farewell HALAL dinner was an appropriate send-off. Thanks guys. And you know how dinner goes.

You start with entrĂ©e (teasing of probable good topics. Testing the relevancy they say!), you go down to the main course (recent updates of life around us). But then full, you still go for desserts. Apparently, below lose their marbles here. They don’t think before they speak here. All of a sudden, you spout things you’re not supposed to say. Like, OH so-and-so is with so-and-so. OR you pour your regrets hoping that well runs dry. Sorry dear, it’s the rainy season.

I hate Soeul Garden all of a sudden. Too much time on our ass letting the fats accumulate and too much friggin’ time for people to be drunk on food and say the OMG moments.

But it’s good. Sometimes, people need to let go. I mean, I do have my handful of regrets. And all these regrets, I was less human. Never thinking of the consequences. Selfish. And borderline inhuman. But definitely heartless.

I didn’t want it to be this way. Actually, I was hoping you cared a bit. But I guess not. Wait, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have done that. Foolish of me. No stupid. STUPID ME! Let’s be strangers. No wait, it’ll be weird because we are good friends.

But I just wanted you to care more. It didn’t happen and I reacted wrongly. So that is my peace.

[Day 0] Flashback Surrealisms Pt 1

2 things today: Departing for an Overseas Immersion Programme, daily updates will keep me sane. 6 times 7 of pure ZUL. *Ego baloon here!* And then I question how we think before we talk.

There’s a funny video on FB when a friend of mine was departing for Korea. Her friend was demonstrating a Korean conversation that has the least chance of reality. Haha. Next time, put subs la. No idea for what but I felt such a heavy heart to see waves of farewell in the ending credits. And tomorrow, I’ll be in her shoes.

And that feeling starts to sink in. You start to think whether you’re doing the right thing. Or you start to have second thoughts. Ain’t it a tad bit too late? Definitely. But the more you think, the more your heart paces. Doubt lingers and before you know it, you fear. Ironically, at this point, that sinking feeling is dwarfed. You hyper-ventilate if need be. Your heart paces slower, but still fast. Haha. And then, all is revealed. You’re still going.

Being scared to leave behind what we treasure most is less of a life’s task and more of a necessary evil of some sorts. I mean, if we can be comfortable, why be NOT comfortable. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it! Some call it for the rush of adrenaline or a new brush of challenge. While many are forced, it is for the greater good. But then you risk. A feeling of insecurity, being scared, phobia-prone and even emo! So why leave the comfort zone?

Because you have to. Regardless of your gallant, heroic-story-material reasons, you leave because you have to. Moving is living. Literary. Haha.

And once you leave, things move fast, which is good. Less time to think about second thoughts! I just remembered a month ago how excited I was to go for a 6-weeks trip. And how China would be a dietary challenge for me! HAHA. And then 2 weeks to go, bags unpacked and now 1 day today, flashbacks of fear and insecurity and yeah… all the things that make you thing “MAN, REALLY? AM I GONNA SURVIVE?” Memories are like words from mouths, when compared to black-white-paper-evidence, they are imaginary. But they make special chemistry with our hearts.

So tomorrow, I might tear a bit. Being a manly man, I will disguise it of course!

I think I'm an alley cat. Catch Pt 2 later in the day.