what i’ve done in the 8 months or so in my “second gap year” : a Report

note: i can't believe i didn't publish this in 2018 lololol. i decided to not edit it (thus the present tense). well i went to Singapore and Indonesia after this post and read a few more books. that's about it.

It’s been 259 days since I came home from almost a year of being more than 10000km away, submerged in a completely different climate, culture, and language.

I was asked multiple times since: “Are you working or studying?”

I answered: “Neither.”

So from the persona I portray on social medias, people assume that I’m doing nothing, aka wasting my time and squandering my dad’s money (uh yes, I’m kinda a spoiled brat) and just having fun. Some people also thought that I stopped studying to travel (that’s a great idea actually except my wanderlust isn’t that big).

Well, I’m not trying to prove you wrong but I’m gonna remind myself about what I’ve actually done; this is a self-reflection and welcome to part of my world.


I have visited four Malaysian cities: Penang, Kampar, Ipoh, Malacca; and four countries: Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong. I wasn’t home for approximately 43 days. Don’t ask me for my favourite city/country.

I met some very cool and nice people from everywhere in the world, and managed to engage in deep conversations with several of them. In contrast, there are Malaysians with whom I could not get over an exchange of formalities, even if we’ve known each other for ages.

I am trying to run a business to help people save time deciding what to wear, and mostly am broke because of this. It’s not really working because I made it hard to even decide what to buy. Well, I gotta learn. And I’m getting help. So wish me luck. And also please like the page on Facebook and follow it on Instagram, that would be much much much appreciated and thanks in advance! Oh yeah, my friends get a special discount code; ask and you shall receive.

I read 26 books (and actively reading two books) and also a bunch of articles. Mostly about philosophy and business, stuff completely unrelated to what I would be studying because why not.

I kinda learnt to read Hiragana and Katakana, two of the Japanese scripts. I’m determined to learn the language but…nah…I’m lazy. The same thing happened with French although with French, the pronunciation is still screwing me up.

I sent way too many postcards and festival cards that I think I can write a pretty accurate review of postal services of the countries I’ve been to. I definitely have enough knowledge of the postal products to work at a Malaysian post office.

I missed seven birthday bashes and am about to miss an eighth one…I am forever sorry.

I was briefly obsessed with rhythmic gymnastics and spent four full days camping at the stadium and then randomly getting an invitation to attend the gala dinner. Oh it was fun and disastrous.

I got a tattoo.

I spent a lot of time with my dad and my grandmother, and I think that’s something I will cherish in the future. My brother? He doesn’t want to spend time with me. But he said that he would buy me a PS4 controller and a game I want so I can play. Yay.

I started going to mental health therapy. I’m still not comfortable to disclose the details openly but I might tell you about it privately.

I watched a lot of films and TV and I also read about good films and good TV so I know what a good motion picture should be like but unfortunately most of what is on a screen is crap.

I somehow still manage to German. I’m super glad that I met (a lot of) Germans in Australia.

I gained a better appreciation for art, whether in the form of words, audios, visuals, and whatever.

I lost about 5kg. I’m not entirely sure how that happened and also I’m feeling more positive about my body image. Also, never ever call someone fat, you don’t know the full story.

I got an invitation to do the entrance exam at my dream university in Switzerland but ultimately had to decline it because…I don’t want to say. The university was the main reason why I acquired the German language. It’s a tough decision emotionally to let go of this dream, but oh, #life.

I learnt to make peace with the fact that, no matter how close two persons were; either platonically or romantically; things can change and it only requires the decisions of one side to make that change and unfortunately I am most of the time on the receiving end.

I kept in touch (or tried to keep in touch) with friends who are in about eight different time zones. The worst difference I’ve ever experienced was 17 hours…damn. Time zone differences is very weird but the best thing is always having someone to talk to no matter what time it is. It’s also amazing how I talk more to some friends who are hundreds of nautical miles away than some friends who stay a few minutes away in the same city.

I befriended a person who shares the same surname as me! She’s the first person I know with that surname who isn’t family (our surname, 管 , is very rare). How cool right!!!

I cold-emailed and cold-tweeted at people I find interesting, normally with no response, so I might be better at dealing at rejections now, however…

I shared a brief correspondence with some people in Hollywood.

I was rejected by the school in Germany where I’ll be studying in and spent two weeks in Japan checking my email inbox every day for a reply from my appeal. 12 hours after landing home from Tokyo, I got accepted after making a 10 minutes phone call. I wish I could give credit to my persuading skills but the truth is, they misconverted my grades before.

I started this blog.


I could not be happier to say that I’m going to Germany next month to start the next chapter of my life; the past two years were definitely wonderful interludes.

tuesday. what happened today.

had bad allergy attacks and was pretty much just trying to stay alive and slept. didn’t do much.

WATCHED

Boss Baby Season3 on Netflix

Life of the Party on Netflix. i generally watch TV when im eating.

READ

well, so Italians (and i think a lot of other people) are distracting themselves by dating online during this tumultuous times. hmm. technically in Germany we can still date cos two persons are allowed to be seen together in public; as long as there is a 1.5m distance in beween us….hmm…

Unstoppable: My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova. already had so much respect for her before this. even much more after knowing more details of her story. wow. and Maria Sharapova could write!

 

saturday. slightly sunny.

Germany might be on lockdown soon…so we sorta had our last meetup before it will be illegal to do that. some people might say that we’re irresponsible and that we should’ve taken social distancing more seriously. but in our only (albeit rather weak) defense, we have been almost solely hanging out with each other and were at my place, and no one took any public transport and let alone ran into another soul. (other than at supermarkets, but don’t we all?) it’s a gray area isn’t it?

wrote some letters to send cos Angela Merkel encouraged that (she also said we shouldn’t physically meet; it’s true that people only hear what they want to hear). and so i ran out of envelopes and stamps so i was delighted to find out that we can buy and print stamps online! and i folded the letter into an envelope thing so it didn’t need an envelope too! wow i feel so eco-friendly!

READ

why COVID-19 is worse than the flu. hmmhmm

someone who finished the freeCodeCamp’s certifications in a month who also makes YouTube coding tutorials. ive never watched a video coding tutorial…still quite skeptical (i always read) but well, i think i should give it a go soon. since i’ll be stuck home for a while with my computer

WATCHED

i’ve been watching Ted-Ed Riddles and i finished season 1 today. i can proudly say that i solved most of it (two with my genius friend)

Crashing on Netflix. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a genius. watched Fleabag and Killing Eve and so happy to see her art on Netflix.

CURRENTLY READING

these would be books (and sometimes perhaps very long form texts) and maybe this would keep me more accountable to finish them hahahaha. this is a little embarrassing and you can see how hard is it for me to just. focus. on. one. thing.

Unstoppable by Maria Sharapova

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

For the Love of Physics: … by Walter Lewin

Wednesday. What day.

exams are coming soon and i’m pretty stressed out because i haven’t been studying intensively for so long. ahh.

WATCHED

i decided that it’s a good idea to watch this in the morning lol. where are the children of serial killers right now? stumbled upon this video on YouTube yesterday while wanting to show a video to a friend when I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE STUDYING DAMMIT

SKIMMED

some book recommendations

READ

it’s just been a little over two weeks in 2019 and at least 22 people have been murdered in Puerto Rico, seemingly without an apparent reason. gosh