Friday, April 20, 2018

04/20/2018

Why my dreams are weirder nowadays, I’ve no idea.

The subconscious brought me straight to the middle of the scene, so here we go.

I dreamt that we were discussing how the course treated us while we dragged our feet out the door. We had initially agreed to share a place to offset the financial burden of paying rent since we were students doing similar degrees from the same batch. And we were away from home. We rushed out to get out to catch the bus in time for our Family Law tutorial, but I left my backpack in the house and had to return to grab it. After sending him off to the bus station, I ran home to get my bag and waited for the next available bus.

I was lucky in some ways that there were regular buses to campus from our place, but the schedule was screwed up for that day. When I arrived, that particular bus was just about to leave and I had to bang its window to stop the driver from driving off. The bus did not have many passengers (as always) when I boarded it. I took a seat in the middle and found myself facing an adult lady with shoulder-length black hair and in corporate wear.

I knew that there was little chance of me arriving on campus in time for class when we landed in the peak hour traffic. So, I messaged the housemate and informed him to keep an extra copy of his notes because I’ll get it off him instead.

In another scene, I dreamt that my sister and I were walking along the pier and breathing in the chilly air of the sea. We were heading towards the jetty when I noticed two of her friends and brought her attention to it. She said hello and I plastered a smile when our paths crossed with theirs, but they ignored us. It suited me fine because they don’t know who I am. She, on the other hand, found it odd with the change in behaviors, but I advised her to let it slide as there was no use in harping about it.

Now, I groaned to my sister about the content of the dream because we initially discussed a couple of times to share a place once we land ourselves with jobs in the same city - to offset the financial burden and maybe accompany each other, so to speak. For me to dream that I shared a place with him, and not her? It is odd. I mean, sure, it’d be fun if the three of us rented a house together but he and I, well, we never talked about it.

The part where we took Family Law was a tad bit shocking as well. He doesn’t exactly love the way that the course is structured, judging from what he mentioned about it. I was actually relieved that I had made the eleventh-hour decision last year to enroll in it (even though I had to delay the winter flight).

As for me knocking on the bus and boarding it, the online interpretation highlighted that I might also be at the stage where I’m going with the flow without the platform for me to stand out. That’s true. I’ve taken comfort in blending with the crowd rather than shining out with whatever talents or accomplishments that I have. In addition, there is an internal conflict between option A and option B. I’m not surprised; I personally would love to return to Subang after I’m done with my papers, give the graduation a miss, and find a legal job back home. But everyone around me (especially those two) wants me to remain in this state.

As for us walking at the pier, there are two meanings. First would be the desire of throwing the towel and hide from everyone whom I know until I’m more confident to deal with the crap around me. Everything has caved in and I’m silently drowning. Ask me how I am, and I’ll probably lie right through my teeth and convince you that I’m tired, but still surviving. The second, I’ll chalk it up to sister’s subconscious.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

04/17/2018

I dreamt that we waited for our separate buses to head home after an outing somewhere. I don’t remember where we went, though. I thought I saw someone at the corner of my eye and turned to make sure that it was a human being I saw, not an apparition. Although his back faced me, his aura bore a familiar resemblance to someone. I poked my friend in the arm and told her about it. She agreed that it looked like the same person whom we knew - she even mentioned his name - except that his hair color was different and this person was taller than our acquaintance. Since I hadn’t seen the acquaintance in years, there might have been the possibility that he dyed his hair and sprouted like a bean sprout.

When I turned again to see if it was really him or just a doppelganger, the person vanished from the spot where he stood. I figured that it was most likely because he found the person or the bus whom he waited for. I was surprised to see him because he hadn’t crossed my mind for such a long time. I couldn’t dwell on it for long, though. The next thing I realized, my friend’s bus was making the turn around the corner. She was bidding me adieu before she waited for the bus to arrive at a stop.

I paced the floor while waiting for mine to come and gave up after an hour. I called Papa Carrie to collect me from the station. When he arrived, he brought me to this nearby restaurant that sold dim sum. I immediately recognized as a Taiwanese eatery because the lady boss spoke in Hokkien. On top of that, most of the diners spoke Taiwanese Mandarin.

I sort of had an idea about the meaning behind the dream the minute I woke up from it. I’d like to think that my subconscious is at the stage where it craves comfort but doesn’t want anyone to come close for the fear of scaring them with my dark side. Trust me, if you see the inner workings of my brain, you’ll either be weary or scared off. It’s also possible that the subconscious also wants to drop everything and take a trip to a place where I can be a tourist yet allow myself the time to recuperate from life’s challenges.

According to the online interpretation, it gave me another angle towards the dream. It suggested that there are changes to love and life. What it meant was that I’m starting to doubt the timing when my soulmate would make an entrance. My psyche wouldn’t recognize love when it sees it if the time is not right. I somehow know at the back of my mind that there is someone special in the horizon but indefinitely quarantined somewhere, lol. The dream might serve as a warning that the careful structure I’ve carved out for myself is about to take an unexpected turn - as a result of what, I can’t decipher.

Maybe it’s love.

Maybe it’s job opportunities out of Adelaide.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Let the rain wash away all the pain

With the wind blowing and the beautiful music permeating my ears, I know that I could have thrown my head back and smile at the momentary peace I feel - but for the fact that I was on a balcony and didn’t want to take my chances. For someone who doesn’t like the cold and would give everything up for a higher humidity, me wanting the cool air is rather ironic. My best guess is that it means something else. Maybe it’s the subconscious desire of wanting to let go or to let someone else take charge for a second while I rest from the inner battles.

As I sat in the foyer of law school and watched students rushing into the building to seek shelter from the rain, this sent me into dangerous territories. I’m not one who likes rain and I’m not sure if it’s related to my horoscope or it’s just me as a whole. That being said, I don’t hate it because I understand its importance to farmers and for the water reservoir. There wouldn’t be any continual supply of water without it.

I just wanted to retreat into my shell and quietly ride out the storm indoors. I still remember that episode in college. It was one of those gloomy days, but it suddenly rained like cats and dogs. We were all huddled on the 6th floor during the 3-hour downpour, either waiting for it to come to a stop or silently cursing at the rude interruption. I, on the other hand, was alone in the smaller room (where the management rented to an MMA trainer after-hours) and stared at the raindrops on the window with a takeaway cup of coffee in my hand.

Rain just makes me reflect on the mistakes and regrets of my life. It opened my eyes to something that I never knew I had in me, which is the ability to feel connected with the weather.

Elder Park/River Torrens

Adelaide Riverbank
I don’t remember feeling emotionally affected by rain before college. It was always the inconvenience that I felt during the thunderstorm because the lightning will trip the switchboard and you know what happens next. We have to wait until the end of the storm before we can deal with the switchboard. My discomfiture only started somewhere during my first semester of college - where I subconsciously associated all of the bad memories with the gloomy weather. It works like a switch; the minute the clouds make their presence known, it will make me sad for no apparent reason. I would hide under the cape of my hoodie and pray that no one notices my presence.

The Carrie version of Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶)
I have no idea why I did what I did, but I made myself a large pot of bak kut teh (pork rib soup) and shared it with the two musketeers. I guess it gave us a good opportunity to touch base with the assignments and make sure that everyone is doing okay. Let’s just say that when the three of us hang out in a private corner, all the boundaries and inhibitions are thrown out of the window. We also have the tendency of branching into topics that we wouldn’t dare speak of us in public. There is the talk of travel, but knowing our divergent schedules, if we want to fly to an agreed place together, we’d have to start planning it the moment we graduate and find ourselves a job. Not to mention, anything can happen from now until the predictive date of travel.

Something in the aura changed and I found myself being painfully aware and reminded of what I lost. I should be suppressing the memories of that person and hope that it’ll fade away with time, but maybe that’s the reason why it’s resurfacing after being dormant for so many years. My subconscious wants to purge this out of its system before I move on to the next chapter of my life. Your jaw may slam to the floor with the revelation, but I guess by me still being able to experience the pain after all these years, it means that I’m still capable of emotions. I can’t help but wonder what will happen the moment I am unable to feel anything. No happiness. No sadness. No anger. Just a neutral lackadaisical attitude.

The perfectionist in me has started to overload her plate - again. With the addition of a mentoring program, I know that there wouldn’t be much time for me to take a breather but I know that I’m able to reap some benefits with the close, frequent contact with the mentor. I can’t complain as the real world is busier than this. A minimum 40 hour week with no guarantees that you’ll have the weekend to catch up with your own things. There are, sometimes, the requirement to stay back in the office to finish the paperwork or bring them home to deal with them and only sleeping late at night before repeating the cycle the next day. That’s just your average workplace. If you talk about the high-pressure ones like law and medicine, the hours spent on work is way more than you can imagine.

The weird dream that I had isn't helping with the situation either. I'll write more about the context in another post.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

4/14/18

I’m more confused than I have ever been … and it’s not the job searches that is the cause. Not even the desire to find a resting place for my weary heart. Oh, if only you could spend a day in my brain. You’ll be groggy from all the little scenarios that play out in my head. It instead feels like I’m in the middle of the street, keeping an eye out for that one piece of valuable item. I know it’s there somewhere, but I can’t see it. My vision’s blurred by the obstacles that are placed in my path towards it and I don’t know if I want to take the risk to overcome it as I approach that item. What I see instead is the reminders of what once was and what I left behind.

I also feel that my heart has been stirred by something that I never expected. I have a rough idea of the nature of it, but I’m not allowing myself the chance to acknowledge it. Maybe it’s because I’ve been surrounded by specks of it lately - or maybe not. To acknowledge it means I’m allowing myself to fall into a trap that shattered a friendship when I was seventeen. It would probably mess with my graduation plans as it might derail everything that I have laid out for myself, but we’ll see whether my suspicions would be proven accurate.

It’s somewhat related to something that I’ve insinuated before… and I’m worried about making more sacrifices when I am unsure of what the future will bring. There’s a sense of discomfort that I’ve never experienced on that scale. For someone like me to feel that way means something is definitely up. It’s like the unresolved dispute between me and that person have caught up and now tormenting me. I don’t want to be forced to make a decision out of a reasonable reliance on someone’s words or promise again.

I knew what I wanted and needed to make the final year as bearable as possible because it would be months away from the finishing line. Well, guess what happened after the summer break? Not only am I suppressing my truest emotions towards people - people who claim to be friends but flee the minute I need them, those dreams of mine are slipping through the cracks of my fingers. I’m losing hope that it will come to fruition and make me the happiest person on Earth. I’m losing the drive to push further and make the best out of the cards I have been dealt with.

It feels like I’m on a tightrope. One wrong move would send me falling to my death … figuratively. It’s not that dramatic, but more along the lines of me revisiting the dark abyss, which I’m not interested to do any time soon.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Silent Hurt

I am now surprised at the way things have turned out.

Ever since I commenced the degree, I had stayed away from all kinds of strenuous exercise because I didn’t want to be reminded of what I missed. Those weekend activities followed by a late breakfast/early lunch at the favorite joint. Now that I’m in my final year, it has brought back the desire to take up running as an exercise again. You see, I used to be an avid runner in elementary school, but I slowly gave it up as I rose through the ranks of my educational journey before I completely turned my back on it in college.

I know that I’ll be limping the next day with sore legs and aching arms (don’t ask me why; it has always happened like that), but I believe that it’s just the process of returning to something you have never done in years - and I’ll adapt to it in some way or another. It took me this to realize that it silently bled the stamina that I once had. I’m okay with walking long-distance as long as I have a bottle of water or if the weather is bearable, but I can’t run or even jog for long. With that being said, it’s good that I’m slowly picking up from where I left off. The campus has two parks within the 1km radius, which is good in some ways because it provides some variation in planning the route.

You might call me crazy, but I love the way I move to the rhythm of the music blasting through the headphones while I run. It keeps my mind sane and I find myself concentrating on my breathing. Not only does it allow me to think things through, the fresh air also clears my congested mind and leaves me with a better mood to tackle the workload … and people.

Swan Lake, Perth, Western Australia

There is one reason why I’d prefer to exercise in the morning. Sunsets and bright stars always remind me of a particular person. There was never a conflict or dispute between us; we just drifted away from each other and essentially burned the bridge that held our friendship intact. If I were to exercise during sunsets or at night, I know that I’ll be worse off. He loved the peace that sunset and the bright stars radiate. He loved lying on his back to watch the stars above him and allow his thoughts to run away after a stressful day. Although it has been such a long time, I just don’t know if I can cope exposing myself to such a risk.

When I exercised on Easter Monday, I found myself thinking about another person. We left on a sour note. I know that there was a conflict between us, but I can’t remember what caused it: was it the existence of a third party? Or was it out of jealousy? The years have since passed and I’m not sure if I want to revisit the past. There is no guarantee that I’ll be able to find the answers I want and give him the closure that he would have needed in the beginning. I would not blame him for the decisions that he made (including the one where it involved dropping me like hot potato) and instead respect for it. His happiness and wellbeing were what I silently wanted for him anyway.

It would be unfair for the both of us if I were to prod the wound with a stick and subject myself to the unknown once again - but for the weirdest reasons, he has been in my thoughts. I wonder whether he is doing okay. Whether he has found happiness. Whether he has found the solitude that he needed. Maybe it’s because I might be visiting familiar territories again and am worried that history would repeat itself. I don’t want the things that occurred between us to happen again - because I know that I’m largely responsible for it and can’t handle hurting another person in the same manner again.

On a side note, that particular band was his favorite. In hindsight, it was to my advantage that we loved different songs produced by them. If we loved the same songs, I’d be screwed by now. It’d be a torture to listen to them again because all it would do is remind me of him and how badly I hurt him.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

3/31/2018

Once again, sorry for the absence in posting.

The first half of the semester has been insane - between the volunteering activities and the assignments, there wasn’t much time for me to stop and take a breather. You’d find this odd; I’m not complaining that I have a busy schedule. In fact, I appreciate it because it means that I’m able to take my mind off things that I shouldn’t be thinking about. I know that I can’t exactly justify such a long period of absence from the blog, but life happens - and it tends to take priority at times.

In hindsight, I think only a deranged student would actually volunteer to complete her presentations for two equally difficult electives in the same week when she has another assignment due in the same week. Well, my dear readers, I was that student. I’m still not sure what led me to do what I did, but boy, was it stressful. It physically drained me to the point where I either looked like a character from ‘The Walking Dead’ or a panda with black eye rings for makeup.

The mid-semester break couldn’t have arrived at a better time - although it still involved two research proposals and one short assessment, at least I’m able to spare some time for myself in lieu of the lectures and tutorials.

I know that I should be relieved that I am done with everything at the end of the year, but I am not feeling any form of excitement or relief. Instead, I want to throw in the towel and move to a place where I don’t know anyone and not be known to the residents around me. I know that this is a bad sign because the last time that this happened, it almost yanked me down the path of a dark abyss. Now, I’m not sure if I’m able to find a reason warranting me to stay in the light. Life is full of obstacles that only I am able to break through it, but there are times when I would love for someone to comfort me and give me the strength. Yet, I don’t want that to happen because (a) it’s impossible and (b) I should not rely on anyone to help me fight my inner demons.

I know that the dream that I had about visiting a family-operated Japanese restaurant means that I want the stability of my childhood since my focus is in tatters. I crave for that moment in time when there was no mess to deal with. The other dream about me running away from someone with my coursemate can be interpreted as my subconscious desire to drop everything and find myself again. There are things that I’m suppressing as a result of my choice not to speak of them publicly. It is only when I am in the safety of the four walls that I let everything out.

I just hope that I don’t fall within the cracks before graduation.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Let me sink deeper

The semester did not have a good start to it. I’ll be honest on that.

I found myself leaning closer towards the edge and slowly descending into a state of nothingness. I was turning into someone I am not. This was not the result of a busy schedule, but rather, the unresolved angst towards the circumstances that landed me in this sticky mess in the first place. I read somewhere that this discomfort is preparing for me to scale greater heights - but the problem is I am tired of living with the pain, especially if it is not something that can be easily treated.

Only God, if he is watching, knows my truest emotions with regards to this.

If I didn’t sacrifice everything (or at least half my heart and half of a stable life) to pursue my degree here, I’m confident that things will be different. I wouldn’t have had to choose between the LLB and the BA. I also wouldn’t have to force myself to decide between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Malaysia. In fact, I’d most probably be enrolled in the same campus as my college friends and the transition wouldn’t be as painful and lonely as it was. It would have been easier because it was a familiar territory. In hindsight, it was a battle to maintain a smiling face when all I felt was unhappiness. It was an even greater battle not to lose my sanity while I tried to find my place in a chaotic shark tank. I used to think that I was a confident child in Taylor’s, but the environment frightened me into seeking solace in the background. I have always felt sorry for the international students in college. Although they did not say anything about this, I knew that they needed to work harder than us as they had to accustomize themselves with a foreign land. On top of that, they were susceptible to more problems than us. Yet, I can’t feel the same among the peers - or am I emotionally hardened by the power imbalance to the point where I have missed all of the signs?

Or am I ready to throw in the towel and walk away?



Looking back, I find myself questioning whether it was a good option to study abroad. The crazily high exchange rate between the Malaysian Ringgit and the Australian Dollar is just one aspect of it. If I remained in Taylor’s Lakeside, I’d have saved a lot of tuition fees and time. Trust me, the amount of money spent for a three-year degree from a local university differs in comparison to one from a foreign university - and this all boils down to the exchange rate. I know that I wouldn’t have met the friends whom I have today if I didn’t study abroad, but the truth cannot be denied. I feel that everything is stacked against me and weighing me down like an anchor. I gave up almost everything, only to start afresh again. It is something that I don’t think you, my readers, would understand the emotional impact unless you have lived in my shoes or seen life through my eyes. The beauty is that I already knew that this was coming beforehand. *shakes head*

I understand that if I hadn’t made the decisions that I did, I wouldn’t have the two furry friends who are good body language readers. If you read my blog long enough, you’d immediately know the identities of the folks I’m referring to. There were many occasions when I was upset with something and either one of them would try their best to turn my frown into a smile - or at least attempt to make me forget that I was upset, even if momentarily.

Sure, my impending departure may test the friendships that I have with them. In fact, it might even strain it to its breaking point and we won’t be as close as we are now. That’s a given, seeing that distance combined with time has that deadly effect. Mitigation would require us to carry our weight and put as much effort as each other into maintaining the bond that we have.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

3/11/2018

I dreamt that we were hanging out in the lecturer’s office after a long day on campus. Her client arrived terribly early for her appointment with the lecturer, which left two of us - the students - looking at each other in confusion. We understood that the lecturer juggled a second career as a practitioner, but we didn’t expect her to have an appointment after business hours. The client entered the space and handed us the keys to her place. She asked us to make ourselves comfortable with the access to food and drink there, but the lecturer wanted us to stay back and observe the dispute as a case study. The client refused to give her consent because the mediation will broach on sensitive issues that she didn’t want us to know about.

We took our cue to leave when the other party arrived at the office with a charcoal face and told the lecturer that we would be back end of COB. While we killed the time, we found ourselves participating - or rather, observing - a street protest before we made our way to the eatery housed in a temple.

I highly doubt that the dream meant anything - except to hint that I need timeout before I cave under the pressures of what it is that I’m experiencing now.

Friday, March 2, 2018

2/28/2018

You’d be surprised to read about this.

Throughout the weeks since my return to the start of semester 1, I loaded up on the hours from the volunteering activities and stayed back late on campus a couple of times. It allowed me an escape from the remainder of a boring holiday while doing something good. I prefer 6 weeks of break. Anything longer than that, I’ll be itching to keep myself busy to prevent myself from being in a rut. Although I was tired from the O’Week-related volunteering activities, I forced myself to attend the first week of lectures (which turned out to be only one for the core course as the rest were electives) because … why not? If I don’t get into the study zone soonest possible, I’d be slacking until the commencement of the tutorials.

Leftover πουργούρι (romanized as pourgourri) with further additions

I continued to volunteer for both Student Life and the Union amidst the added pressure of academic success and the graduate/clerkship programs. You could say that I am biting off more than I can chew, but I craved for something that will leave me on the go for ¾ of the time and improve on time management skills. I’d rather be on the move than to spend my free time on social media. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate social media. In fact, I appreciate the convenience of maintaining contact with friends through that method. It’s just that those time spent online could be diverted to better use, such as more revisions, volunteering, or even job hunting. For certain events, it forced me to dig deep for the experiences garnered in CPU to help me along. It also sharpened my interpersonal skills and … continued to prepare me for the hustle and bustle of the real world, so to speak.

As for the tutorials, DRE was okay. I mean, what could I have expected from the second week of classes? We had arranged to be in a team for the group work later in the semester, so fingers crossed that it will spare us from unnecessary and avoidable issues when the assignment arrives. I was initially surprised when the ADR lecturer mentioned that the skills we picked up from that course will be beneficial for DRE, but I guess she was right. Now that I have given a quick look at the course structure, it will definitely come in handy for certain elements of the course.

Understanding Climate Change as a whole was a tad bit difficult than I expected because it encompasses a lot more. I guess I knew what I signed up for after I spoke to the folks who did it last year and wanted to challenge myself. I mean, Climate Change will be an issue that affects us all - look at the weather around us. For the half of January 2018, Klang Valley was shrouded with a spring’s touch of cool air. Mind you, this has never occurred before. The assignments didn’t bother me as much as it did for other students as it had the same structure as one of my other electives last year. I cringed for a minute when I had a look at the list of enrolled students. While I already knew that two of my friends were in the course, I wasn’t counting on seeing some familiar names from Corporate, DRE, and Legal Theory. Now, although I warned the good friend when we met up during the Fringe Parade that there would be a surprise headed his way, he never expected that it would be me joining him in this course. He jumped for joy when he discovered the surprise.

I also had another friend - but from Criminal Law and Canadian Law days - who were with us in Climate Change. He was more excited than me for this course because he felt that it was wider in scope. When we ran into each other on the first day of lectures, we grinned at each other expectantly because we already knew what was coming.

So, I guess I’m relieved that I swapped from my previous elective to Climate Change for now. I won’t know if I’ll regret my decision in time to come, but we’ll see.

The not-so-Japanese potato salad

Ah, Legal Theory. The course that I couldn’t enroll in sophomore year because I swapped Criminal Law with my non-law electives. I wasn’t exactly ready to be challenged by the course although I was aware and studied elements of the Nuremberg Trials in Canadian and International Law. Heck, we did a presentation on how Kristallnacht (known as Crystal Night in English) was the precursor to the Holocaust and how it eventually led to the ICC’s prosecution of the Nazi officials in the trials. The link that I attached would help you understand what Kristallnacht is about.

At least I wasn’t going in with zero knowledge of the Eichmann trial. I wasn’t expecting to see many students because this course is not as popular and hinges towards a mixture of philosophy and history. As what we Mandarin-speakers would say, 这本科比较冷门. It was good because it allowed us to spread out in the class instead of being squashed to each other, though. I felt myself questioning on whether I wanted to fulfill the required attendance (that will be the break between a pass or a credit grade) due to a couple of reasons. Class discussions never bothered me since Taylor’s, but I didn’t want to embarrass myself by saying the wrong thing and be snatched of the opportunity to do so by my peers in the smaller discussion. Trust me, there are times when that has occurred in the other elective to the point where my lecturer was like, you should have interrupted the person because what you said is of substance and worthy of a class contribution. The introvert in me doesn’t fancy it because it forces me to approach other students who are strangers to me. I can’t gauge if they would welcome my input or totally ignore it. But since there is no exam component, I think I can swallow my discomfort with a pinch of salt.

Seeing that some of us had arrived earlier, we sneaked into the classroom and took our separate seats while waiting for the lecturer to arrive. Although I heard the doors being opened and closed by the rest of the students, I couldn’t be bothered to shoot a glance as I was exhausted from the workshop that I attended the previous evening. I had looked up once to double-check if it was the lecturer because the timing seemed right, only to find myself looking at someone I never expected to see in Legal Theory.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Same festivity, different year, different place

Seeing that it has been a long while since I properly celebrated Chinese New Year (the reunion dinners and the red packets included), I was more than prepared to spend the first day on campus to do my own thing. It was also advantageous that the Adelaide Fringe started on the same day, which meant that I could ditch my backpack in the locker and tour the Adelaide Night Market and Parade of Lights if I wanted to.

That certainly didn’t happen.

About a week before the actual event, my sister decided to step in because she didn’t want me to feel all alone and homesick during the festivity. (In all honesty, I’d have been okay either way. Unfortunately, Christmas might just be the time that I’ll feel all alone.) She arranged for the good friend to celebrate Chinese Year with me. Contrary to what you think, we didn’t have a big meal. We only had a simple dinner that consisted of πουργούρι and Japanese potato salad. Now, πουργούρι (romanized as pourgourri but pronounced as borgori) is a traditional Cypriot wheat made from durum wheat. Based on what I gathered from his explanation of the dish, it hinged towards fried rice - except that we use loads of soy sauce and they use Greek yoghurt. The potato salad was a recipe taught by an acquaintance in Petaling Jaya almost a decade ago.

First day of the Adelaide Fringe's Parade of Lights. The building in the background is the Art Gallery of South Australia

The Northern Lights at the South Australian Museum

Northern Lights - up close

M1 on North Terrace being illuminated

Elder Hall

Elder Hall

Oddly enough, the hours slipped through the crack of my fingers as we chatted about everything - ranging from uni-related matters all the way to our hopes for the future and relationships. You can probably imagine that it was an open-ended conversation in a half-private matter. The campus usually buzzes with life on a Friday evening, but because university hadn’t officially started, there were less students than normal. Kind of a slow pace, you could say, but it gave us just the right amount of privacy to speak. I guess the nature of our conversation allowed us to understand each other from a different perspective - something that may not occur in the ordinary circumstances, i.e. catching up after class or even a group hangout.

Soon after sunset, we figured that it would be better to breathe the fresh air and check out the architectural projections instead of gluing ourselves to the seats. There were so many people who turned up that it was easy to lose your companion - unless you have a way to contact them. Not to mention, it was tough to get a good angle for photography without a monopod/tripod and without accidentally capturing other people’s faces too. I figured that since I might have to stay back on campus until dusk after the semester started, it’d be easier to take the pictures there and then.

At the old location of the Royal Adelaide Hospital

As it approached towards 10pm when we arrived, the crowd dwindled. They either made their way to the Adelaide Night Market or onward to the Garden of Unearthly Delights

Live acoustics

It was also a surprise to have met his sister, their cousin, and their mutual friend too! I became an observer instead as small talk is not my forte and I couldn’t contribute to their conversation, which, I think, he felt it too. Yet we made our way closer towards East Terrace - and closer towards the location of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital. I kind of liked the atmosphere that greeted me: it was away from street party yet it had its own celebration. There were five sheds dedicated to food trucks, but since we went late, only two were open. There was access to food and drinks with good, relaxing music. Other diners were more than welcome to engage in their own conversation or listen to the acoustics. I don’t remember what time it was when we called it a night and went our separate ways, but we were yawning - one after another. A surefire sign that we were exhausted.
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