Thursday, December 30, 2004

My somewhat close shave

Dear all worried stricken friends

I am okay. Sorry for not calling back, that's because I only have 3 baht left in the Sim card Ping left me and 2 baht in my international calling card, hence technically rendered useless except to recieve calls of relieve and to nag at me for what I have mentioned earlier.

But honestly (and chou!) I might not have been that okay. I was almost to go to Ko Phi Phi actually. On the very evening the day Tsunami happened. But the cab driver (who I will definitely treat to a meal and drinks if only I can remember how he looks like) who was listening to the radio suddenly announced in his broken English to us about the tragedy, like he knew we were going that evening. And that freaked us out.

Flew to an internet cafe and read the news, and then we went to change the destination. So I was instead near Cambodia and not down South.

Anyway for those who are interested in the situation in Bangkok (I have yet been here for 10 hours, and the last 6 was spent sleeping). But it doesn't seem as chaotic as Hiao Hiao thought it will be (*winks*) but I have yet gone to the airport. Khao San seems quite peaceful although the rooms are more packed than a few days back because of the stranded tourists who were to travel down I think.

They are also in need of ang moh blood, which I just found out that it is actually different from Asian blood. RH-. What blood type is that?

And His Majesty the King lost his grandson in Phuket, and they were doing tributes on TV for him.

What a somewhat close shave for me. We have discussed that even if we have board the bus we will just be stranded at Krabi and refused onto Phi Phi, which means wasted trip and perhaps not that much of a danger, but it is indeed close enough for me to not even go through it. The thought of what that had happened could have happened is beyond what I would like to imagine. And let's keep it as that.

For tommorrow, I will be home.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

It feels weird somehow, when I hear that from you.

After all, I started it first.

But it is just. I feel.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Are you trying to guess where I am now?

I am in wonderful Chiang Mai with wonderful weather and wonderful people and wonderful food. Somehow people here thinks we are Thai more than the other provinces.


Leaving tommorrow, and going back to BKK to "transit" before going to Cambodia, and also gonna drop by Ayutthaya to visit the village I spent 3 wonderful weeks 2 years ago.

But I will miss this wonderful weather. Think Genting Highlands.

Yup, no mood to stone in the internet cafe la, just updating for fun.

See you guys next year.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Chulalongkornian - No more.

Yup. Yesterday marks the day I stepped out of CU for the last time (most likely) and officially ended my exchange programme.

Not that I hated it here, my heart is still in SMU. As cheesy as it sound, everytime I read an article citing how great we are, like here, I am just so filled with pride. It's such a drag to be back in school again (gawd projects) but hey, it's my last 4 months with the school I defended fiercely and recommended greatly to friends who are now here with me, not regretting their decision to come (and therefore trusted me bwahahha).
We just seem better, and we are not like just a school of F4-ish people who carries gucci bags, and proud of that.

And tommorrow, I will be leaving for Chiang Mai (flying leh, you think what! Thank You Air Asia!) for perhaps a week or more, then to Cambodia. Due to financial + time constraint, we are skipping Vietnam for now. Well.

Anyway, read a few interesting articles about Mandarin language on Straits Times with disappointed people saying it is now an academically irrelevant subject now that Uni entry did not depend on it. Our Korean friend who visited Singapore was surprised that everyone spoke in English, and she was not impressed. She wondered, as Chinese, why don't we converse with each other in Mandarin? Initially she thought it was out of courtesy for her sake, but she thought wrong.

When a French girl showed me a Chinese Calligraphy painting printout and wanted to know what it meant, I couldn't read it. And I felt so ashamed about it. I feel so ashamed when I told her, while I could speak Mandarin rather fluently, I cannot really read a lot. And that kinda took her by surprise, although she really tried to be very nice about it, it did not make me feel better.

we 3 did manage to surprise our international friends with our command of English, which, while may not be that fantastic and they still do not understand what we are saying half the time because of our accent (as we are to theirs), they are surprised we can converse so fluently. And even more surprised when we told them everything is taught in English and it is our 1st language.

What is Singapore becoming? Why do we always view English as the high up there language, when seriously, except a few minorities, we do not identify with the language. It is simply the universal language, and by that, it means that everyone else can speak it. So what is the big deal about it really?

This first language system is good for us and allow Singaporeans to be this little better than the others in the region because of our command in English. But is it really worth it considering how it dilutes our roots? If I think it is bad for my generation already, what about the next? While it is not right to blame our parents, but the fact that I cannot speak my own dialect and that I do not know that much about the cultures and customs of my dialect group means I cannot pass on that knowledge to my offsprings.

While it is irritating at times, hearing the French babble French amongst themselves do make me feel quite proud that they are so proud of their roots, and that in France, they will NEVER speak English even though they can. And they do not speak English to each other when we are not in their presence. And they are so proud of their country, but we? We are proud too, but of what?

And being out of the country into a country with people who do not understand Mandarin (well maybe 90% don't) we are a happy trio who can blabber the most private conversations in taxis, coming up with the best bargaining tactic in open in front of the seller and even being able to openly bitch about the other exchange students or anyone on the streets without anyone knowing. And it is such a happy thing. I have never spoken this much Mandarin since Secondary school, where Mandarin is staple, and English is secondary. Then comes JC and my class of pinafore girls and I became a convert. Till now. And I am glad that I got into my class, for if I am in a Science class I may be those "engineering" students who cannot write or speak English properly. And in Singapore, you don't want to become them. Or at least I don't. But yet I hate the way my Mandarin is so lousy, and I might do something about it really, like read the papers or something when I go back. (But no Rose, I am not capable of reading your wen yen wen yet.)

Perhaps we do not need to be this extreme, but away with those who deem people who speaks Mandarin Cheena biang. If they are cheena biang, it should be because they dress like one or look like one, not because they speak the language that you and I are ethnically related to, the language we can identify ourselves with.

Anyway, while I have said it before, I have to say it again. There is no place like home. Home where all your friends belong, all your family is, where your wardrobe, bed, hammock and all the tender loving care are waiting for you. Home where my Fe will cook me yummy food and fuss over me.

So see you guys back in Singapore(literally exactly) in 2005.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

| CaNn0T sTanD p3Op|3 Wh0 TyPe |yK tH|S wOrX.

Why? There are normal keys! I know the QWERTY keyboard was made as a mistake, but hell, isn't it difficult to type like tHa+?

Anyway, my exchange program will end officially in 2 days time. Bittersweet. Now I don't want to lose the friends I've made. Kinda hard that we will be THAT far now, like all over the world.

P.S. I love the French!

P.P.S. i'm coming home. at the weirdest hour on the 31st Dec 2004 at 2350 hours. At the strike of midnight when you guyus are at zouk waving your hands, shaking that thing, I will be either at (a) the plane if they delay, (b) on the travellator at the arrival hall, (c) at the immigration booth stamping my red passport with WELCOME TO SINGAPORE girl in Cheongsam standing around, (d) buying a bottle of liquor at duty free, (e) looking out for my luggage at the conveyor belt. Happy New Year.

P.P.P.S. I am always curious how many silent loyal reader of my blogs there are. Would you prety please leave a comment, like yes hui, your blog is my daily bread, or yes hui, I love your lousy english, or yes hui, you are my highlight of the day, or yes, I.. I LOVE YOU!