A HISTORY of the Melbourne life of kobekobe~!
Date: Sometime in April 2002
Well, i didn't really fly straight to Melbourne from Singapore, unlike what many of you probably thought. Instead, i flew to Sydney first via Kuala Lumpur. I arrived in Sydney in the morning the next day, the 23rd of march, rejoined my dad at the airport and proceeded to my dad's friend's place, a guy known to me since childhood as 'Uncle George'. Now, Uncle George lives in Epping (i think)which i believe is somewhere in the northern suburbs of Sydney. After we unpacked, i adjourned to the living room to meet his sons and we played Metal Gear Solid 2 on the PS2(!) until about 3am, stopping briefly only for meals. I awoke a 5.30am the next day and left with my dad and mom in a Mitsubishi Pajero bound for Melbourne. (Little did i know that this would be the start of a long short-of-sleep stretch in time to come~ remember,i only had two+ hours the night before~!)
When we finally arrived in Melbourne after 10 hours of (almost) non-stop driving, i was checked into my hostel at about 5pm. My parents, after making sure my place of accomadation for the next year or so was comfortable enough (by their standards), then left shortly after. There i was, left sitting alone in my empty room not knowing what to do and where to begin. I had no friends, no relatives, absolutely nothing. I didn't even have the slightest IDEA of where i was to begin with. I was just about to go nuts when i felt an urge to go. I guess holding on for that many hours in the car really has its effects on you. Just as i clicked the door shut and began walking towards the toilets (or rather, what i hoped was the toilet, if my memory served me well...) when i saw this scrawny little guy and a tall,lean yet muscular guy walk by.
"You new here? Hi! I'm Andy! This is Alex, he stays just a couple of rooms away from you. Where are you from?"
WOW. This was so unexpected. I really thought i was about to be one of those obscure loner guys, you know, those who belong nowhere and are better off unseen and unheard. Instead, i made fast friends with Alex and Andy and found out they were in many ways like me. They were also from Malaysia, i found out, and both also had a keen interest for art and drawing. Before i knew it, i was having dinner with them at the hostel canteen downstairs (which is actually a full-fledged cafe and diner, btw~) and they showed me round the hostel and introduced me to many other guys just like ourselves. You wouldn't believe how many Singaporeans, Malaysians and Hong Kongers there are in my hostel. Along with a handful of others from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and Indonesia and you just about have at least one person from anywhere in South-East Asia in the hostel.
However, i found out that my hostel was quite far from trinity college, (the school that i was to report to the following day) and almost everyone at the hostel was studying instead at Taylor's College, which was two blocks away and had affilation for Monash University. Damn. How was i to get to school the next day? I had only a vivid sense of which general direction my school was, and absolutely no knowledge of the tram system in Melbourne. I was at wits end(again), when i met another guy named Vincent. I was introduced to him after dinner by Alex. Apparently, Vincent is also from Singapore and was previously studying in Victoria Sec. Ahah. A Singaporean. How nice. Heheh. More importantly, Vincent was also studying in Trinity College and offered to show me the way to get there the next day. How nice.
That night, i couldn't really sleep...there were just so many things on my mind. Visions, thoughts, memories...they all just came flooding through my head. Again, for the second night in a row, i managed to squeeze out just about two hours of sleep.
The next day, i met Vincent at the lobby and we left for Trinity College. He took Kendo(!) as an extra-curricular activity(!) at school, which explained why he was carrying a long, leather case over his shoulder. It actually contained his sword, called a Shin-Nai, which according to him, would be his tag for all to see that he was not to be messed with. (He also has a wooden KATANA in his room, btw~) I was also thinking he looked rather imposing with that thing over his shoulder, but it would be later serve as a subject of humiliation when upon arriving at Trinity,another new girl in the Accelerated Program came up to me and asked who my friend was, the one WHO WAS GOING FISHING. I nearly died.
Anyway, after a brief orientation programme, we had lunch with some of the teachers in the college at one of the rooms in the college. It was here that we got to know each other better (i'm refering to the other students in the trinity accelerated programme), and, much to my surprise (and shock!), there were in fact not one, not two, but three other people who were in CJC for the first three months as well! And boy was i even more shocked when i came home to find them staying in exactly the same hostel as well~! Okay, these (ill)fated people are, in no particular order...
Michelle Sng Wei Ling (1T23)
Raelene Huang Su'En (1T02)
Steven Salim (1T15)
Nowadays, i spend most of my time hanging out with these people along with all the other people i mentioned earlier, as well as some others whom i met either in the hostel or at school. There's really nothing much to do in Melbourne...especially at night.
Most places close at about 5pm or so, and even though i stay in the CBD, the place is pretty much dead at night after dark. Only some places such as Coles, Target and perhaps some eating joints are open at night, and that really really sucks. I guess you could go clubbing and stuff like that, but i'm really not into that scene. Man, how am i gonna SURVIVE here?!
Update: 16/11/2002 (continued~)
After about a month of staying in melbourne, i entered a phase of extreme homesickess-something my friends here said was bound to come sooner or later. Much of the day would be spent deep in thought~ thoughts of what it would be like if i had remained in Singapore...how i wished to go back~!
to be continued...