As it is almost approaching 2 years since I stepped my foot here, I would like to do a quick recap of what has happened throughout these 2 years...
Confirmed that I will be leaving for UK for good.
Had my mock graduation as the actual one is going to held in October.
Frenzy treats for my friends-those in secondary and universities ones; spent quite a fortune on that!
Finally left for UK and it was the first time I've ever stepped in a foreign land after 22 years (of course Singapore not included lar..) Like a frog for the first time ever exposed out of the coconut husk, everthing was like heaven to earth but the rest is history now...
First day itself, because of some jinx or what, some unhappy things happened to me; the significant ones like leaving my backpack full of important documents in the airport railway station (luckily was found back later) and a falling shelf which damaged my laptop.
Leaving my comfort zone means having to be separated from family and friends, the freedom and power of mobility (I sort of like have my own car back then), readily cooked and affordable gastronomic cuisines, restricited favourite pastimes (window shopping, TV shows etc.) and too many others too think of. It was like back to ground zero and trying to adapt to the level of civilization here...
Boredom and loniless was (and still is) the main thing creeping in. With shops closing at 5 pm, lack of TV and internet and a half-broken laptop, just couldn't think of much to do. Going to the pub? Catch some football matches? Start dating? Play some sports? Nah...all those doesn't fit me at all. Hmm...what about going for movies? Yes, that I would like very much even though alone and the cinema ticket price each time could afford me a buffet back home. I will post the list of movies that I've keeped tracked on plus some commentaries...
Embarked on my first ever trip around UK-first to London, then to Bath, Liverpool and Manchester. Will post more pics of this tour and other tours in my future posts. Also experience my first ever white Christmas/New Year vacation. It was really very historical when it snowed just aorund 2 hours before the stroke of New Year 2004's midnight!
Leading a nomadic lifestyle, moved first time to another student's accomodation due to disputes with flatmates; plus the new one has internet connection! It was like finding water in the desert but only restricted water coz the connection has the university's firewal-which means no hanky panky downloading. Also my first ever CNY out of the country, without family and friends. managed to catch a so-called lacklustre CNY performance by the Chinese community here.
Due to the attraction and temptation of Britsh TV programmes such as Friends (not so British though), I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (a reality show), Coronation Street, The Office (not sure whether it was showing then), etc etc, I bought myself a black and white 8" TV, which finally was not functioning coz the reception was so poor as I live underground and all I could see was just snow.
My first trip out of England, i.e to Edinburgh, Scotland, which was just great! Missed the tour package to the Highlands to see Nessie, the dragon in Loch Ness, promised myself to go back but still haven't done it yet :(
A friend from uni came down to London to see his brother (and me-something like 'might-as-well' kind of thing). She was on her backpacking frenzy trip cum interview so just dropped by in England, which according to her is a bit lacklustre compared to other European cities. Hearing that, I vowed myself to tour Europe next Chirstmas and Easter vacation. Managed to kill one Euopean city though, i.e. Dublin besides other UK capitals(Belfast, Cardiff), Lake District and Manchester during my Easter break.
Continued my exploration (and admiration?) of my ex-coloner's land, I travelled to York, Sheffield, Hadrian's Wall and Conwy in Wales and found it was all about castles, cathedrals/churches, monuments and musuems but the way their restore and preserve them really gained my admiration.
Lokked like I was having fun all the time and no work? You're wrong then. All travels were made during holiday breaks and it is not just partying all the time. This was the crucial month for me as I had to prepare my 9-month transfer report and a scientific poster, which both were impressively well >-)
Had my tranfer viva to be qualified as an official PhD student, in which I did impressively well too >-). Moved second time to a private accomodation which has an en-suite bathroom but lack of internet connection which I vowed to get them as soon as I came back (read the next month's activity) for a download frenzy fest. Also had my first birthday out of the country, alone, but had my first indulgence on the take-away culture here.
My highly anticipated break back to Malaysia to replenish my taste senses (to gastronomic food) and to cure my miss for my family and friends. Met up with some relatives and friends and had a souvenier-distrbution frenzy for them.
The very short one month trip has passed and it was time to bid farewell again; i.e. back to UK. But good news! My lab was moving to a spanky new impressive, state-of-the-art lab. And it meant finally getting my very own cubicle in the office!
October 2004-November 2004
The start of my second year , which saw some progress in my work.Things surpsingly worked out pretty well for me as compared to before. It could be due to the rejuvenation of me with all the gastronomic cuisines I have taken and some (pre-packed) ones which I have taken over here.
The rest to be continued in my next post...