What I’ve Done in the past 8 months or so : a Report

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 met up with friends. Catching up is good, realising the distance between some of them and me is not. It’s sad but I’ve also started some friends as toxic though they have done nothing bad to me.

I learnt to be alone.

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 very very 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.

Wednesday

READ

the Ferrero company. yes, the chocolate bon bon.

Klinefelter syndrome

an Airbnb horror story

Wikipedia: Getting to Philosophy. hmm i didnt get there

apparently there has been many upsets in the women’s games at Wimbledon this year

Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who fought the World War II for an extra 29 years

Teruo Nakamura, another Japanese holdout 

Japanese holdouts

nanny nanny pu pu. that’s how I’d stylise it 

SKIMMED

the most unusual articles on Wikipedia

It’s 2018 But In China They Still Do…

…相亲, xiàng qīn.

There is no such concept in the English language (or in any Western culture, I think) but it’s basically two persons being match-made by their families or relatives and then they get married. What the deuce???


That’s a common practice for the Chinese as recent as my grandparents’ generation but since then, come on, who would be happy to have your life partner predetermined for you???? I learnt about this from my paternal grandmother just a few months ago and was pretty surprised but also, a lot of things start to make sense. My grandfather died almost 50 years ago and my grandmother brought up six sons on her own; she’s a real heroine, isn’t she. Anyway, what made sense was how she never seemed to talk about my grandfather. Whenever such topics arise, she didn’t speak like someone who was ever truly in love. Maybe it has been too long and she is numb about it, but I never detected a hint of grief from her whenever we would visit my grandpa’s grave, which is every year cos we the bloody sentimental Chinese have a festival for that.


China has been giving me waves after waves of cultureshocks; it’s almost like a tsunami, really. First, I could not get over the lack of common courtesy here among people. Then, I became mindful that I absolutely the cuisine here because they are so oily and always too heavily-seasoned. Next, there’s this going-cashless movement (it’s really amazing). Now, this. Back to it.

So I befriended a 23 year old girl, well, 22 actually since her birthday is in November. She is engaged to a man she met just 4 months ago and scheduled to marry at the end of the year. I was dumbfounded to hear that. Naturally, I asked some questions.

How’s the process like?

Through the introduction by a relative or family friend. Marriage is then discussed and the date of marriage picked right away.

[note: yes, there are “lucky” and “unlucky” dates to marry; it depends on pairs’ birthdate and birth time; where the logic lies, baffles me too]

(after she said she’s considered late to marry) What? When do people normally get married?

19 or 20. One of my peers has even given birth.

Do people get divorced often?

Normally it only happens to people who picked their own partners. If the marriage was arranged, then not really.

[note: it took me a few moments to comprehend this]

Are there homosexuals here?

I have met a few…but isn’t it unpractical*? What would they do when they’re old (and have no kids to take care of them)?

[* I am not 100% sure if that was the phrase she used but she definitely said the following sentence]

And you’re sure you want to marry?

I wouldn’t marry if not for my mom. In my village, the folks would gossip a lot if people weren’t married by my age. It would be no problem to marry later if I went to university, but I didn’t.


Things I should have questioned but didn’t think of at that time and it would be weird to bring it up now through text messages so let me imagine myself to be in the shoes of conservative Chinese people:

Are people happy (in their marriages)? [note: this is the closest English translation out there; in Mandarin, it’s something more intricate: 会幸福吗?]

Happiness is having the stability of life; not having to worry about not having enough to survive. With a partner and a kid, I can achieve that.

What if you realised after marriage that your other half is an asshole/bitch?

I could only admit that it’s my fate. 【认命】

Is having a kid/kids that important?

Yeah, when you’re old and unable to work anymore, you need them to support you  so you are finally able to enjoy life yknow. Besides, there would be someone to spread your DNA around. It’s great.

Do you realise that you may never encounter true love?

What’s that? Does it help me have enough clothes to keep warm at night, enough to eat,  a shelter, AND all other life necessities?

What if after marriage you met someone else you’re romantically attracted to?

HAHAHAHA [with a “you serious bro” look]. I’d be married, I’d be loyal. That would never happen.

Please feel free to tell me if you have any other questions and I will try my best in pretending that I know the answer.

Thursday, still in Yiwu

READ

who poisoned Zhu Ling? 

more on the case above

wtf China

don’t forget what happened to Alan Turing

on pronunciations of foreign words

guys who date older women

gossiping is good.

doing nothing while travelling. sometimes i just walk around aimlessly too in foreign lands because why not

14 Tweets über das WM-Aus des Deutschlands

das WM-Aus

Deutschlaaaaaaaand!

a scandal about how Russia won the bid to host the World Cup

wow how could people request for free stays at hotels like that???

i admit that i’m privileged enough to not have been poor. society should not use the word “poor” loosely, like how they use “OCD”. being broke is normal. [comic]

actually useful royal etiquette rules

the man who cracked the lottery