Archive for January, 2007

The presentation

January 31, 2007

Here are some quotes from my presentation last week and what I really thought about them. Bear in mind that these quotes are from professors who were evaluating my research.

  1. “I think you’re too ambitious.” (Ambitious is wrong WHY?????)
  2. “I don’t quite understand what your research is about.” (This coming from a person who had her eyes closed for a FEW minutes while I was presenting!)
  3. “I think you need to diversified your literature review. It’s quite weak.”
  4. “I commend you on a job well-done with your literature review.” (Refer to #3 and go HUH????)
  5. “Why don’t you do a comparison of China and India?” (India?!?! I’m having a hard time grasping China’s history as it is.)
  6. “Yes, that’s a very good idea. If it’s really good, we may just upgrade you to a PHD.” (This is in response to quote #5. My thoughts: PHD?!?!?!? ARE YOU PEOPLE INSANE??? SIAWWWWW)

While all that was going on inside my head, I had to have smile on my face, nodding and saying things like “That’s a good suggestion. I’ll consider that” or “I understand, I will research that further” or “Thank you. I’ll make a note of that”. I felt SO fake. Oh well, I guess that’s how it is when you’re faced with criticisms from the “upper level”. I’m sure it’s the same thing in the working world.

The thing that bugged me the most was the patronizing I got from them. I am no genius, I’m just a girl who wants to do a masters research on China’s rise as an economic superpower. My presentation SUCKED big time. My confidence just went downhill during the first 5 minutes because one of them had their eyes CLOSED. I mean, what kind of impression do you think you give if someone’s practically “sleeping” while you’re talking in front? The looks I got, the stares…believe me, my ego wasn’t just partially bruised. It was CRUSHED into little itty bitty pieces, if not, just powdery thingies!

I’m not sure whether I have to do the presentation again but I’m meeting with the supervisor tomorrow to discuss on the presentation and where I’m going from here on.

Anyway, it’s lunch time so I’m going to make me some food.

Chicago Part 1: Winter WonderFest

January 29, 2007

The Winter WonderFest is an annual event during Christmas time. The event started December 9th 2006 and I think it ended a few weeks ago on January 7th. It takes place in Navy Pier in downtown Chicago. There was SO much to see and do. I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking (since I’m running SO behind on my travel posts).

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Moi posing outside Navy Pier

Ever since Rob told me about Navy Pier I have wanted so badly to go. Why you ask? First, it’s by the lakefront. Second, it has about 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, restaurants and attractions. Most of all I wanted to see this…Check it out!

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Behind the main building is this HUGE ASS ferris wheel. It’s freaking 15-storey high! I’ve always LOVED ferris wheel rides but because it was winter, the big wheely was closed. *sigh* BUT, the view of downtown Chicago from the lakefront was spectacular. I got an evening shot and a night shot. I was estatic about that!

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Entrance to the Winter WonderFest is free but if you want to enjoy ALL the activities they provide you gotta pay $17 for a premium wristband, which includes ice skate rental but a general wristband excludes the ice skates.

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The Entrance

So like I said, there is A LOT to see. The first thing that caught my attention and dropped my jaw was this ENORMOUS X’mas tree.

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Surrounding the X’mas tree are smaller but stunningly decorated trees given by different embassies in Chicago. Then again there were X’mas trees EVERYWHERE. Everywhere you turn, left or right there is bound to be X’mas trees or decorations. Have I mentioned lately I love Christmas?

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X’mas trees…

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More X’mas trees…

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And more X’mas trees

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My favorite tree.

There were also lots of different rides for everyone. Imagine how happy I was when I saw….

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An indoor ferris wheel!

I was extremely happy to see the ferris wheel inside the hall so you can imagine how spacious the hall is. It was 50 foot tall!

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The view from the on top of the ferris wheel

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Rob (looking all cute and kissable!) and I on the ferris wheel

More pictures of the rides…

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Giant rocking horse

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Kringle Carousel

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Reindeer Express Train Ride

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Arctic Ice Rink

I tried ice skating for the first time in my life. I was nervous and excited at the same time. I practice walking and standing with the skates on and thought it couldn’t be THAT hard. Boy was I wrong! Once my feet hit the ice my feet were slipping and sliding all over. I could not stand still. I had to hold on to dear life on the side rink because I was so scared of falling. Needless to say I did fall…on my BIG FAT ass. After going one round on the ice rink I decided that was enough and went to sit.

Surprisingly enough, Rob made me go on it a second time. Let’s just say I almost wanted to strangle him for that. He knows I still love him. Hahaha

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The Winter WonderFest closed at 8pm. By the time I left the hall, I was taken away by the view.

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We took the train back and Robbie suggested Hooters. Since there’s all this hoo-haa about Hooters waitresses, I figured why not go see what’s the big deal.

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If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Hooters restaurants are supposedly known for their well-endowned chesty waitresses. When I saw them, they weren’t as well-chested as I thought they would be. It’s more of their uniform than anything that keeps the men coming for more.

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See what I mean?

Hooters food isn’t at all that good. We had the chicken sandwich and curly fries. The fries came out cold and saggy while the chicken was dry. They are way overpriced. I guess it’s the skimpy outfits that the waitresses wear that keep the men crawling back there. Men can be so gullible eh?

After dinner, we called it a night…

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Our wristbands. Hairy arm is NOT mine. =P

I suspect that my posts of Chicago will exceed 5 so do come back for more. =)

Happy Birthday

January 27, 2007

Today is your birthday,
how I wish I was there.
To look into your eyes
and touch your face.

Today is your birthday,
how I wish I was there.
To pick food off your plate
and feed you cake.

Today is your birthday,
how I wish I was there.
To hug and kiss you
with all my might.

Today is your birthday,
how I wish I was there,
To be a smartass
and remind you you’re 21.

Today is your birthday,
how I wish I was there
To look into your eyes and say
“Happy Birthday Baby, I love you”

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New York Part 3: Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, & Ground Zero

January 24, 2007

From the Upper East Side, we travelled down south to the tip of Manhattan to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

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Buildings buildings and buildings

Access to both requires the Liberty-Ellis Island ferry because it sits in the middle of the Hudson River and it costs $17 (if memory serves me correctly) for all ferry rides, no matter how many times you go on it. If you want an audio tour, you pay more lah. I can read lah, cheaper. We were lucky that day because nomally in winter the ferry doesn’t run and both monuments are closed.

Security was tight. We went through security checks before going on the ferry. It’s exactly like security checks in the airport. They ask you to take off your shoes, coat etc. yadda yadda yadda

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Ellis Island from the ferry

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It was SO cold on the ferry!!! It was SO windy it made us even colder. My hands were FREEZING. I regretted not bringing my winter coat with me. :S

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See what I mean by windy?

When I reached Liberty Island where Lady Liberty sits, I got goosebumps and was in awe of the sight. I’ve always seen the statue in tv shows and movies. I dreamt of actually seeing it with my own eyes. For some it may not be a good deal, but for me it was a special feeling of sorts.

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Mom

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More buildings

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Lady Liberty in her glory

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Yours truly and Lady Liberty

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View of the Statue of Liberty from the ferry

When we were done at the Statue of Liberty, we took the ferry to Ellis Island. If you didn’t already know, one part of the movie “Hitch” starring Will Smith was filmed in Ellis Island. Remember the scene where he and the hot chick were jetskiing and then he took her to a museum lookalike place and showed her her great grandfather’s name and then she cried, running out of the place? You do? GOOD, that place is call Ellis Island.

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My cousin and myself

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The Circle Line ferry

As it was getting late and the last ferry was 4.30pm we made the trip to Ellis Island really short, plus the fact that I was never a museum person. *shrug*

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Lady Liberty and a beautiful sunset

A few blocks from Battery Park was Ground Zero, the used-to-be WTC. The buildings are being re-constructed and was shielded from the public. It was spooky seeing how cold and dark the place was. Again, I was overwhelm with emotions. I wrote a thesis on the 9/11 attacks and seeing what’s left of one of America’s spectular landmarks dumbfounded me.

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I managed to find a hole big enough to put the lense of my camera into and this is what it looks like behind the shielded area.

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Around the corner was the WTC Memorial Hall, where lots of pictures are posted up, messages from loved ones to those who died, poetry, etc.

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I think this may be the last post of my trip in New York. I’ll blog on my long trip in Chicago soon.

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Proposal presentation done. Got a lot of comments and critism and I think technically I pass. Why I say that? Well, when the head of the postgraduate committee says to you “Your position in this faculty is confirmed”, it means you pass……………….right?

=S

Tulan

January 20, 2007

Damn tulan (pissed).

My streamyx was down for 3 days. I called the customer care line 4 times (%$#@!) before a technician came today. Surprisingly though because it is a public holiday today. Every time I called I kept telling them to make a note there that I want a new modem because it got fried by the lightning but when the technician came he had NO IDEA he was suppose to bring one. Luckily he had a few in his van or I would’ve killed someone. I’d give you the details of EVERY call but I’m sure most of you know the kind of crap we have to go through when we make a complaint with TMNet.

By the way my laptop’s LAN port is dead thanks to good ole lightning so I had to run out to get a USB network connector. The thing was fine when I tried it at the shop but I don’t know why I’m so soi (unlucky) that when I tried it at uni’s library it didn’t work. Soooo, I went back to the shop the next day to exchange for another one. I also batted my eyelashes at the technician to test my LAN port, at no charge. Reason I’m so smugged about it is that I saw a list of charges and he charges like RM10 for hardware troubleshooting. =P

So now I have a new modem (after much impediment) I can at least research online.

Another reason to be tulan is that my proposal got partially rejected AGAIN (%$#@!). I am redoing the theoretical framework chapter AGAIN (%$#@!). I have to hand in by Monday so that supervisor can distribute to the rest of the Post Graduate committee to read before the presentation on Wednesday. Die die die.

I have been and am still working on it. Just taking a break before I become siaw (crazy). Head hurts and I feel my brain cells diminishing one by one.

Okay back to work. Wish me luck that I pass the presentation and FINALLY start writing the ACTUAL thesis and STOP re-doing the proposal!

I will update as soon as I can, perhaps after the presentation on Wednesday.

New York Part 2: Times Square & Rockefeller Center

January 16, 2007

I left a pair of B.U.M Equiptment socks in Chicago and apparently Rob washed them and is now wearing them. He likes them a lot. Here’s a little conversation I had with Rob this afternoon..

Rob: I am piggy bum bum, wearing bum bum shinnie socks
R: you gonna tell the world I wore your socks?
Shin: why not?
R: im doomed
S: i think its cute
R: they good socks…
R: you cwazy for leavin em
R: i wish all my socks were this comfortable
S: if i knew you’d love em that much i would have brought more to give you
R: oh god… your gonna use my statements in blog
S: yeah they’re priceless *yahoo smug face smiley*
R: well I cant help it damnit…. i like the socks!
S: *copy paste* *yahoo smug face smiley*
R: i gave you some of my socks
R: this only applies to socks… not underwear or bras!
S: keep talking honey *yahoo big smile smiley*
R: KNOCK IT OFF ROB! *yahoo beat-up smiley*

And then he shut up. HEH

Pointless? Well, it may be to some of you but for me it’s funny. Kinda like an inside joke so I don’t expect anyone to get it. Hehe

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Times Squares needs no introduction. The place to hang out EVERY New Year’s Eve, Times Square is busy everyday of the year. Then again, most of New York City is hustling and bustling everyday of the week, every minute of the day.

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I don’t know if you watched the live telecast of this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration on tv but I was just in awe when I saw it on TV in Chicago. There were over a million people flocking the streets counting down to 2007. From what I could tell, it was the most happening place on earth!

The lights in Times Square alone are bright enough to lit up the whole of Kuching. I am not kidding.

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Times Square minus the 1 million people, 2 weeks before New Year.

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Big departmental stores like Macy’s had beautifully decorated window displays for Christmas. Each window display tells a story and is made with so much detail. Some of the displays are electronically operated and moves like puppets.

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This one is the giant dog from The Neverending Story, right?

People actually queued up and spent time reading the text explaining the display. I didn’t bother doing that as the line was really long. It was SO crowded that a lot of my pictures were “spoilt” by humans.

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Picture spoilt by this lady. Such a garang (fierce) face.

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Another picture spoilt. No clue what that lady is peeking at.

Rockefeller Center is about 5 minutes walk from Times Square. Remember I talked about the X’mas Tree from Home Alone 2? This is the one…

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I was lucky enough to catch some sort of a projection show when I got to the Rockefeller Center. Lights of snowflakes were projected onto a building while music plays in the background.

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Sorry for the lack of words in this post. I have to make this post a quick one as I need to prepare for my meeting with the supervisor tomorrow about my presentation next week. ACCKK!!! More pictures to come. Til then take care!

Insulted

January 14, 2007

I had not plan to blog today but I need to let off some steam. Some may think I’m PMSing but I’m not due for a couple of weeks. :P

Anyway, I just got back from dinner. While I was at dinner a lady and a girl came by and knocked on our table. First I was annoyed, then realized it was someone my parents knew. So I smiled.

They got to talking and subject switched to “Oh this is your daughter? What does she do?” etc. Then the issue came to being overweight. I bet you know where I’m going with this. Apparently this lady’s daughter lost weight due to her (and I quote) “determination and wanting to be ‘pretty’ (in translation from Hokkien)”.

As soon as she was done saying that she turns to me and said “You want some tips? You can exchange emails and talk to my daughter about it.” I politely decline. I smiled and shrugged off to signal that I really don’t care. She then asked “Ohhhh, got boyfriend already or not??? Don’t have issit??”

WHAT?? Because you think I’m fat I can’t possibly have a boyfriend??? WTH?!?! I gritted my teeth, forced a smile, and said “I’m happy with who I am now.”

To which she replied, “Cannot…you so fat…not good you know…not healthy!”

*sigh*

I have a few things to say though.

#1 I appreciate that you are concerned about my health due to my weight. I really do appreciate it. BUT your concern doesn’t really shine when you INSULT and put me down.

#2 I know I am fat, wait, the politically correct term is overweight. I don’t need to be reminded that I am “fat”. I know it’s unhealthy. I know what I need to do. Thank you.

#3 Just because I am “fat” doesn’t mean I don’t have a boyfriend.

#4 I don’t give a rat’s ass if your daughter or your auntie’s daughter’s best friend is starving herself to fit in those size 24 jeans.

It’s bad enough she implied that I was fat, she had to insult my (somewhat) intelligence by nochalantly asking me what I’m studying and whether it was “hard” or not. Before I could answer she went, “Oh my daughter is doing civil engineering. It’s not easylah. It looks very difficult. So is what you study hard or not???”

Again, I smiled and politely say “It depends on your interest.”

It’s a surprise the amount of patience I have for some people. Being brought up to respect those older than myself, it is sometimes quite a disadvantage when those elderly ones insult you like that.

Anyhow, just wanted to vent some frustration regardless if it made sense or not.

Au revoir~

New York – Part 1: Central Park

January 12, 2007

I have been sick for the last 5 days or so. I finally went to the doctor’s this morning. *looking at the colorful pills in glee while rubbing my hands together*

My sleep schedule has totally freaked out. When I first got back I would be sleepy as hell come dinner time and be wide awake at about 3am. But I’m slowly getting back into momentum (I hope).

Between getting over the jetlag and being sick, I have just found out that my proposal presentation will be on the 24th of this month. With that said, I will have to focus on the presentation in the coming week and a half, which means posts on my trip will be delayed (a little [I hope]).

The thing is I have a gazillion pictures to go through and resize and upload. So, it’ll take me a while to sort them out and actually blog about it. So far, I’ve sorted out the pictures from the New York trip. Ten million more pictures to go! I hope you guys will bear with me.

So, let’s get down to business, shall we?

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My first day in New York was interesting to say the least. Upon waking up to the sounds of busy traffic and sirens, I was excited to start my day. As I wrote in an earlier post during my first day there, I went to see Central Park, one of the many places I dreamt of seeing. Central Park was about a 10-minute walk from where I was staying. I was so busy snapping pictures of the streets on the way there that I forgot to get a picture of me IN the busy streets.

It wasn’t that cold that morning. I simply wore a turtleneck sweater and jeans and it was sufficient for the weather. I think it may have been 8-10C that morning. It’s strange considering it IS winter time there now and temperature usually is a lot lower than that.

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Central Park is absolutely beautiful, as beautiful as you see in movies like When Harry Met Sally, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, You’ve Got Mail, Hitch, The Devil Wears Prada, Big Daddy, the list just goes on and on and on.

I had hoped to see Central Park with snow all over it but I wasn’t that fortunate. Instead I got to see the fall look, where trees were shedding and dry leaves on the ground. It was such a beautiful sight though.

For those who don’t know, Central Park is located in between West and East of New York. Hence, the name “Central Park”. You would also be surprised to know that Central Park is entirely man-made. Isn’t it perfectly landscaped? Central Park has several artificial lakes, extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, and grassy areas used for various sporting pursuits, as well as playgrounds for children. The massive park is so popular with joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, even at 10am. The reason why I say it’s massive is due the fact that this MASSIVE park is 843 acres which equates to a rectangle of 4km x 800m. To show you just how big the park is, here’s a simplified map I found on Wikipedia.

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I went in Central Park through 79th Street, walking pass the Metropolitan Museum of Art (or the Met for short). I strolled along The Lake first then turned towards the Great Lawn and eventually arrived at the Reservoir. I walked around the Reservoir. That took ONE HOUR. I am not kidding. It’s THAT big.

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And because it’s THAT massive, I couldn’t cover all of it in one morning. I was lucky enough though to take the path which (from examining the park’s map after the stroll) had the most breathtaking view. The pictures I took came out magnificent!

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The camwhoring starts…

If you look back at the simplified map up above, you can see a little blue patch in the Great Lawn area. That little blue patch is call the Turtle Pond but I didn’t see any turtles. Instead I saw ducks swimming happily in the pond while some others were basking in the sun.

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I was pleasantly surprised as to how friendly the animals are in Central Park. I supposed they are so used to humans walking around.

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By the pond is Belvedere Castle, sitting high on Vista Rock which is one of the natural elevation in Central Park. It’s absolutely stunning. I wanted to go up to the viewing tower but it was closed for the season.

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Belvedere Castle

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My mom and myself on the castle

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Yours truly on the castle

The views from walking around the reservoir is breathtaking and yes I know I said it before. It’s just THAT good. From one side of the reservoir you can see the view of the Westside. Then as you walk to the other side, you get the view of the Eastside. Here are some of my favorite shots from the one hour stroll.

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Nice views aren’t they?

I wish I could’ve explored more of Central Park. I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw. I would definitely go back there if I had the chance. There’s still so much I want to see.

Anyway, I’m still sorting out pictures of Times Square and Statue of Liberty. Stay tuned!

In the mean time, enjoy some more shots I took.

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Statue of King Jagiello

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Home, sick and not liking it

January 7, 2007

I got home yesterday. My bags didn’t come with the flight. I had to wait til the next flight for my bags to reach. I guess it didn’t get transfered in time during transit to Kuching. Thankfully nothing was stolen.

I’m sick too. Had a sore throat on the plane, which eventually developed into a cold or maybe worse. I’m not sure yet. Now I’m just miserable. I miss my Robbie and everyone I met there very much. *sigh* I wanna go back.

I would blog about my trip and upload the gazillions of pictures I have but I really am not in the mood to do that because it’ll make me miss Rob more.

So, please bear with me while I go pout in the corner.

Later y’all~

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