Tuesday, April 25, 2006 | 18:16
hurrying up life
A holiday it is and was supposed to be today but I'm currently stuck in my quaint little and rather cosy room with lecture notes, tutorial questions to be completed, and a multitude of chapters to be read from thick text books.

What can I say or reflect on ANZAC Day other than that it's a public holiday and it's the first time in my life that I actually get a day off to commemorate this day or that I am obliged to do in this country? In any case, I haven't done anything worthy of admitting that I did commemorate this special day but let's have the obligatory prayer of silence at least.


There it's done. Or at least my part is.

I promise that I'll go visit the memorial park next year when I have a better appreciation for this day and it's meaning and all.

All the stories that I've been regaling about for the past weeks have momentarily subsided and come to a bland standstill with finals creeping up my back and into my head to eat me up and spit me out from the insides. It feels more like I'm back home now where I wake up, eat, study, complete assignments as much as I can before I retreat and copy other people's work, bum around, and pretty much not do anything substantially productive for the most of the weeks leading up to the exams. It actually feels regretfully comfortable and oddly nice.

In about two months time I'll be safely back in my own room and house and with family and friends. Can't believe that I could be so excited about that, even more so than the days leading up to the day that I would be coming here. I suppose it's the anticipation of looking forward to see if anything back home has changed or have I changed and whether things around me have improved or degraded. It's more of a reflection period than anything else I expect. And it would also truly be the first time that I'd be travelling to an international airport and boarding a plane by my lonesome with some 30 kilos of luggage and food to take back home as per requested by the family and additional gifts to friends.

The green stuff aka money is quickly being liquidated and converted into material things for which I actually don't really need but I comfort myself and justify the buys that I will use them and that they will come in useful one day. Or two. Then there's the previously mentioned presents to be bought for friends and family so there goes another dent added to my purse strings.

Imagine if I was actually living by myself in an apartment or with another person or two, I'd be even more strapped and tighter about cash than Vassi is particular about polishing the silverware and ensuring that the IH logos on the plates and cups face the same way when they're stacked up and arranged on the tray. Seriously.

Anyway, life is becoming a tad more comfortable now and I've managed to assimilate myself within the IH way of doing things and life as it is here. It's time for my daily hot shower and then dinner. I hope I won't be forced to toss my fourth bowl of soup down the drain again as I had done on
three previous consecutive occassions.
Jill |

Friday, April 21, 2006 | 15:26
utterly crashing forwards
Returning from having Rossi's leftover lunch or cat food for lunch aka weird gooey and dodgy looking something that resembled pasta but probably is not, I'm feeling like having another Krispy Kreme doughnut but I really shouldn't as it's just going to go to my thighs. And I really do not need any added inches to them now.

Returned from Sydney last night on a twelve hour train ride where I managed to gobbled down two Krispy Kremes, a hot-cross bun, and half a fiction novel on the way. Slept maybe a total of six hours on the train which made up for the four or five hours sleep I got the morning before in Sharon's place where Veron and I crashed for the majority of our trip.

Spent quite a substantial amount of money on transport and food and clothes in Sydney which I'm feeling the pinch or punch in my purse strings now. Ouch. Got to cut down my coffee expenditure to a strict one regular cuppa a day instead of the occasional twice a day. I really couldn't be bothered to elaborate on our trip even though it really was fun and random and funny. The most part of our trip consisted mainly of shopping, eating Junda/Junde's grandmother's homecooked food at their place, staying a night at said place to watch Saw and Saw 2, indulging in seafood at the Sydney Fish Market, parading around Bondi Beach in our oh-so-scantily-clad bikinis, visiting USyd and getting a hoodie on the way, and gorging ourselves silly with Krispy Kremes doughnuts but not necessarily in that order.

Coming back to IH to such chilly weather is a shock to the system especially when Sydney was so warm and windy. It definitely feels closer to London weather now than ever. I really do not like this. I really got to concentrate as a friend just reminded me that finals are only six more weeks away and I've yet to seriously get down on my work and burn any midnight oils yet. There're two assignments due this week and the following week and then another in the middle of next month which isn't too far away. The level of stress is certainly escalating and
ascending increasingly as I think about it now. There're too many thoughts in my mind now for me to even begin thinking about what's going to happen in the next day or so.

I don't want to think anymore. I want a Krispy Kreme. Like now. Now. When you can't think anymore when you've just had cat food for lunch reach for a sugary treat. Wish me luck.
Jill |

Friday, April 14, 2006 | 17:27
ozzie in the making
My IH room's never looked this empty before except for the first time I moved in here. I've packed most of my belongings and valuables in the cupboard and hopefully my room won't get rented out but if it does, then the temp visitors will have to be contented with sleeping on my unwashed bed covers and linen for the week.

Leaving for Sydney tonight on the overnight train. Should be fun as I haven't been on a train for almost ten years now. Actually I can't really recall the exact time span since I've even stepped on an actual train besides trams and LRTs and KTMs.

Anyway, midterms have come and gone. Didn't do well on one of them but am hoping that the second one went alright. One assignment down and two more to go after this Easter break. I'm actually bringing along part of my assignment notes to be continued in Sydney when I have time to do it and don't feel like doing the sight-seeing stuff and touristy attractions.

I won an Easter bunny soft toy complete with hollow chocolate egg at yesterday's dinner when Scolarest had a surprise for the last several stragglers of us still remaining in IH. It's pink and soft and to quote one of my friend's description of it, feels like cotton candy. I think it's a good start to my first real break from uni life, don't you. Even if it is for a week. Tiny chocolate eggs were distributed along with fruit salad dessert as well and we actually had grapes and kiwis in the fruit bowl yesterday night too. I managed to salvage a kiwi for my self before anyone else got it.

It's my first experience at seeing and being in IH when it's so empty since the beginning of the semester. Normally, there'll be heaps of people everywhere but it feels kind of nice I suppose not
being around people constantly and them around you. It'll get even more empty and vacant towards tomorrow and Sunday.

Hopefully I can return to IH by this time next week or Saturday morning the latest to get my room, assignments, and life back in order again. And then it's normal uni life regaining momentum once again the following Monday.

I had three hot cross buns today and they were so good. I can't believe we only get them during Easter and not at anytime and everyday during the rest of the year. Alright, it's raining and getting chillier by the minute. I just need to tie up some loose ends before departing for the train station on Spencer Street. And I think I might have forgotten how to get there but no worries because I think my friend coming with me knows. Or at least I hope so.

I do have a map with me. I just refuse to use it because I'd look like a bloody tourist person when I'm really not anymore.

Speaking of getting lost, amusing or the least bad experience story for me but not for the people I tell it to. It was the first time I really got lost within the city area when I was trying to navigate my way through Lygon Street from Koko Black to Victoria Market and then to the Melbourne Uni Sports Centre for the intercollegiate girls volleyball final game where IH got it but managed second place only. Boo Trinity. Anyway, deviating from getting some really good and hot chocolate from Koko Black with a group of friends I tried to get back to the main road leading to the uni but got lost for about an hour until I finally decided to return to IH upon realization that I missed half of the game already. So walked another half hour back to Vic Market where I got a tram back to IH. Oh, and did I mention that in the morning when I was headed towards the city as well that the trams weren't operating as well so I basically had to walk another half hour midway to the city. All this is in a span of four hours I think on that very merry Sunday.

Have a good Easter.
Jill |

Sunday, April 09, 2006 | 22:48
wrongly satiated
For once I actually and really don't have anything specific and special to post about. Yay for mediocre and laid-back blogging.

Returned from watching only partially of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' in the JCR as tonight was International Movie Night. I don't really know where the international part fit in but go movie night. It was partially interesting in the beginning but I got too lost in the weirdness, drug-ness, and drunkenness of Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro midway through and decided to retreat to the comfort and warmth of my room to, of all things, work on my QM2 assignment which isn't due until after Easter break. But seeing as I'll be away for the most part of Easter and I won't have time to properly work on it, I suppose it would be a good time as any to start on it now and not have to have this shadow looming over my mind when I try to shop and explore Sydney as much as I possibly can and enjoy my time with friends there.

So what am I really doing here typing out information as non-factly and useless as possible for strangers and some to read and mock me?

Probably just to dwell a little on a not-so-favourite topic of mine to begin with as I've barely or even never touched even so much on it before. But I suppose it's inevitable that I will begin talking about it when you come to stay in a place such as IH.

Now suppose that there was this guy that you first met in the first few weeks of O-week and he sort of impressed you a bit but you don't really know why and what made him have such an impact on you. You begin to look forward to the day that you get to see him again the following week for just three days and maybe on some nights when he feels exceptionally talky. He nods and says hi and hello to you when you both meet and yet it never really goes beyond that. We have little chats and make small talk and laugh about random things. You guess that he probably has a girlfriend already and your intuition is dead on right. So now he just seems like any ordinary guy you meet every week with no strings attached. And yet somehow your heart may skip a beat when he passes you at that same time and day every week.

I'm still rather confused with this one but I think I'm getting there to sorting it out. I'm alright. Really.

Then comes along another guy who seems to be the perfect embodiment of whom you'd think you'd get along really fine and well. He's talkative, intriguing, charming and witty. There seems to be some indication that he's that but still the fine line is blurred further when you see him with other people around. There're no concrete feelings attached as yet but you're just a little bit curious. He smiles at you in the halls and occasionally offers to make you a great cup of tea. Yet this just makes you all the more confused about what is happening or might happen. I'm in limbo but he might not be.

It's a blank.

I want to say that I get along with this guy the best but not right now. He's an oddity in himself and you don't know much about him but you know that he's genuine. He seems mildly interested in yourself and yet you can't bring yourself to admit that. You brush it off as nothing but friendly banter and yet again it could be really nothing. Both of you have talked on some random occasions where it felt light and free and cool. Still the question mark hangs over his head and yours is spinning.

Why do I have to start thinking about such matters at this time of when my grades and hopes and dreams are in danger and jeopardy of being tilted over the edge and I come crashing and burning in IH-hot-to-go style.

I hope tomorrow won't be too cold to walk. It shouldn't be though. I'm still deliberating over whether I should get a UniMelb hoodie. I am contented with my IH fleece hoodie and rugby jumper now but I could always use some new clothes. Anyone could.

Went out with a group of random old high school friends today and had a Koko Black Liquid Mocha aka hot dark chocolate which really was exceptionally good. Especially for weather like this. And still I decided to have vanilla ice-cream with milo and nuts for dessert tonight. My throat is so going to go tomorrow morning.

IFA midterm results will be out some time in the coming few days. I really have a bad feeling about it. Hope everyone else will have a good and better week than I will.

P.S.: Photos have ceased for the moment due to midterms and assignments. Hopefully I can reimburse this loss with photos in Sydney next week.
Jill |

Saturday, April 01, 2006 | 00:18
t'was the night before
Once again try as I might, the collective thoughts in my head are struggling to get themselves together so that I might pen them down into coherent and structured sentences and not just some bogged and watered down version of what I really want to present and express fully.

The IH Ball was on yesterday night where cam-whoring, dancing, some drinking, and a whole bunch of other unmentionable stuff took place. Please forgive the slightly over-the-top poses struck in the pictures as I'm not used to such cam-whoring activities even though it was all in good fun and jest. The photos though were all taken during during the dinner at San Remo Ballroom about a ten minutes taxi ride from IH. The food was just above average than usual IH food fare and it had better be as it cost us $AUD50. In between the entree, main course and dessert, all of us just basically went to find people to snap photos, admire each others' outfits, and dance and drink the night away. I didn't though as I get quite red in the face and I wouldn't want that appearing in the photos. Besides that, people talked, people shouted a little, got a bit tipsy and proceeded to hook up with each other and some other little stuff as well.

At about eleven the shuttle bus was here to escort the party-goers who bought the ticket which cost $AUD20 to attend the after-party at Velour Bar. Half-filled with skeptism and cynicism when I forked out $AUD70 about a week ago to get my tickets, I was actually excited to check out the club slash bar. Not to get high and pissed but to probably see other people get high and pissed. As usual, upon arrival we were greeted with a wave of smoke and darkness with a smattering of strobe lights and disco balls to match encapsulating the place. IH actually had the basement reserved for us exclusively and free flow of drinks was available all night long that is until the tap ran out close to after two in the morning later. I should get a shirt that says, "I went for the IH after-party and all I got was this lousy shirt and watered down vodka and sprite." The line was so packed and long when the second shuttle bus to bring us there arrived at the bar. Not complaining that I didn't get wasted or anything but I just would have liked to get my money's worth of drinks. In hindsight, I suppose it was good that I didn't get too many drinks to get me high and not remember the night before. I think most people know for a fact that I do not dance but last night was quite the exception. The music wasn't great so occasionally a bunch of us would sneak upstairs to the main dance floor where the music was so much more dance-able and better.

I don't know if I would want to go for another clubbing session like that again but we will see in the future. After two and nearly to three, our group made our way back to IH where a floor-mate from the other side of the building on my floor helped us order a pepperoni pizza as we were hungry and he was also getting something in too from the nearest pizza place. The pizza arrived where we were later joined by two more guys bringing MeeG aka mee goreng and overnight roast chicken with Nando's Perri Perri sauce. Hanging out in my room, because I was touted as having the biggest room among the group, and talking about the night was interesting. Highlights included recapping about the people who hooked up with each other and impliedly guessing as to what was going to happen after the party when they've had a little too much to drink. Actually seeing people making out right in front of you or next to you was a rather surreal moment for me. Not ot be rude, but prying your eyes away from them is actually a little harder than I thought but thankfully I didn't see a lot of them unlike some of my friends. The drama ensuing during the night was interesting and a bit overwhelming for the people involved in the drama. Gossiping about other IH-ers within the confines of my room was a light and slightly noisy affair which ended a little after five which I then said goodbyes and then went directly to bed.

To which I woke up for lunch at one thirty after seven and a half hours of sleep. There was supposed to be a group assignment discussion at uni today at eleven to which the other group member living in IH too and went for the ball and after-party reluctantly and quite guiltily asked to postpone our meeting to Monday. I feel really bad for doing that. This is what is going to happen more frequently if I keep going on like this.

So how was your week?

Assignments are building up gradually much to my and the rest of the residents' dismay here. Midterms abound as well for me as I have one coming up on Wednesday and another one the following Wednesday before departing for Easter break in Sydney. We actually have a foreign language tutorial program going on in the tutorial rooms currently and I attended my first Japanese tutorial on Monday learning some basic Japanese phrases and greetings to which I mostly know all already due to my incessant watching of anime shows. TV-watching always and consistently displays its worth every now and then.

The pressure of not falling behind in your studies is getting to me now. It seems that every single person here is either being funded by a scholarship or they're just really smart but know how to divide their time for fun and study and anything else in between. It's an inadequacy syndrome feeling where I don't feel like I really belong here among the elite of genius-ity here. It's like I just wish I could say I got a TER of 98.5% instead of my own 91.0% and that I'm here because of a scholarship award instead of being a full-fee paying international student. It's my own egoist maniacal personality surfacing where I just have to and got to be up there instead of where I am now which is not too bad really. I knew that IH had a lot of intelligent and talented people before I came here but I had no idea as to the extent of how they can balance that whole smart, cool, and incredible parts of their lives. It's kind of a double-edged sword thing where I do feell blessed and lucky to be here but also that I don't feel like I trully and fully deserve to be here.

The final of my compulsory self-help shift tomorrow at eleven. I can finally return to my normal weekend sleeping pattern starting next week. The weather is turning a little nutty now where it was just chilly and cold for the whole day and night now. I don't want to turn on the heater because it would just dry me out so I shall huddle within the warmth and comfort of my blanket now.
Jill |


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