Monday, 25 April 2016

S Y D N E Y

We always do something new in Sydney.


Whilst my dad gave a guest lecture at the University of New South Wales, we had three hours to explore.  The university was beautiful, full of green lawns and perfect looking faculty buildings.  From observing, it was exactly what I imagined university life would be like; people looking free and intellectual, independent and young.  I can't wait to be one of them.








We spent an hour on the top floor of the library where all the literature was stored.  The books were beautiful - much older than any edition of the same books that I had ever seen.  The shelves gave the aesthetic of a stereotypical dusty library.  It's beautiful books like these that make me actually want to read literature.

My sister picked up an interesting-sounding book about a gate from which you could see the world from start to finish, end to end; like looking through God's window.  I picked up Jane Eyre, only because I like the line, 'Reader, I married him."





We visited a distant grand-aunty and uncle in a retirement village.  On the uncle's wall were photos of their grand-children, who are in my generation, and being the curious person I am, I obviously gave them a little Facebook stalk.  I now know that one of my third-cousins is an Olympic level gymnast, who, due to her Asian culture, was forced to give up and not go to the Olympics this year because she should be studying instead.  Another one of my third-cousins is a year older than me and seems to be the typical Australian boy (but Asian).  Sometimes I forget that not all relatives in my generation were born in Malaysia, and that some of them have been given exactly the same cultural identity as me.


Looking at slightly older photos in the photo albums is also interesting, because I get to see photos of those two generations before me when they were younger.  They all seem to have the perfect bodies -  extremely leggy with skinny waists.  They're all beautiful in their traditional Malaysian dresses, but their hairstyles are a little bit strange.






The alley next to Chinatown, which we always pass on our way back to the hotel, is covered in graffiti of blue swirls, and angels lit up above.  Apparently this alley has been named In Between Two Worlds, and is a piece by Jason Wing.  The artwork incorporates both Chinese and Aboriginal elements.



The photo above was taken in the N2 Extreme Gelato shop, where they make the gelato fresh and freeze it with liquid nitrogen before adding toppings of whatever flavour you choose.  I had the 'Anzac Sanga' which was basically honey-joy (butter, honey, caramel cornflakes) mixed with gelato between two Anzac cookies.  It was delicious.




This sixteen year old boy got really into his drumming on upside down buckets in the middle of Pitt Street Mall.  He was pretty good - better than the girl singing Let It Go on the other end at least.




It started raining so we took shelter in a maritime museum, where we read about two guys who kayaked all the way to New Zealand in 2008, because Australia has no real history to commemorate and has resulted to this.



When we went out for dinner before the musical, there was this table next to us with a whole bunch of guys and basic white girls all wearing the standard minimalistic clothing paired with various items of denim.  While most of the guys were cute but much older, there was one sitting closer to us who looked younger.  We had bets on what his age was, and finally, when they were about to leave, I asked the Adidas and Nike clad boy how old he was, and the standard white girls started laughing and yelling that he has a girlfriend.  He told me he is 16 though, which means I won the bet.  Here is yet another embarrassing M-harrasses-the-public moment that gives me a story to tell, and those people a story to tell too.



Those quiet moments in the hotel room where I write in my diary, or rather question why even though I've left home, I can't ever seem to really leave it behind, even for a few days.




There were all sorts of strange signs from all over the world on display at Darling Harbour, and snide, comedic comments made right underneath.







We took a spontaneous trip to Bondi Beach on the last morning, but only spent an hour there.  I want to go back and explore some time.



School starts tomorrow, and I don't think I'm ready.

Love,
M

Monday, 18 April 2016

My Memory Museum

I've come to realise that I'm the kind of person who very much lives in the past, who hoards memories as if they're sacred.  I keep diaries, I find everything sentimental, I take bucket loads of photos and pride in having them neatly stored in my laptop.

I saw a post like this on Rookie the other day and I thought I'd make my own.  On the bottom shelf right behind me in particular, here are some of the items I've kept over the years.  Welcome to my memory museum.


Half a Friendship Necklace


I don't remember when exactly this necklace was bought, but when I was three I met my first ever best friend, and we stayed that way until I was six and my family decided to move cities.  Being practically toddlers, our friendship was very much based on our parents, who would take us on outings, plan our first ever sleepover and buy us these expensive looking, formal friendship necklaces which even came in their own boxes!


Takeaway the Glass Whale


This whale came from my first ever successful bargain ($1 off), which I was very proud of at the time.  I was probably around eight or nine, and we were in some markets in Perth.  For once our parents had let my sister, my incredibly vivacious friend and I roam around alone, and we were having lots of fun watching a glass-blowing display.  When I bought the whale it came in one of those chinese take-away noodle boxes, hence the name.  At some point that day I also broke Takeaway's tail, which I remember being quite devastated about.


Anna the Bear and the Rubber Owl


These two are remnants from birthday parties.  Anna came from a party bag of a friend I looked up to at the time, and now that I think about it, a miniature bear is a strange thing to put in a party bag...

The rubber owl I made myself at a friend's house, and to be honest, I don't quite remember anything about either of these days.


The Blue Candle


I made this candle myself at one of the many holiday programs I went to.  I remember being scared of the hot wax because I knew that if I touched it, it would sting my hand.  I guess I've kept this item because it's one of the only remnants I have left of those holiday programs, which were both a hated and loved part of my childhood.


A Pterodactyl Plaster


This is the first thing I ever really won, thanks to my dad helping me out in our school's first ever 'science day'.  If I remember correctly, my project had something to do with mammoths.  When I received this prize, I thought it was oh so valuable and a real fossil.  Now I guess it's valuable for a different reason.


A Book of Stamps


I used to collect stamps because I used to like the idea of getting letters.  It always felt so romantic, so much more real than the emails we used to send back in the day, and the stamps could come from anywhere in the world.  I liked the idea of them having been many places, having been through an entire postal system.  Plus, I could add stickers to letters.  I had this one friend from school who also collected stamps, and we decided to be pen pals.  We even made a news report about collecting stamps for one of our class projects.


Year 6 Compliments


At the very end of primary school we did my favourite activity. Basically, everyone has to write compliments about everyone, and in this case we then stuck every compliment about ourselves onto a big piece of poster paper.


Kanye West Glasses


In my first year of high school our house music theme was Kanye West.  House music is this thing my school does where each house makes up a themed dance routine and on the day we all perform in the hall, and it's really really loud.  These glasses were part of the costume.


A Box of Polaroids


For my 15th birthday a bunch of my friends chipped in to buy me a polaroid camera.  I used it a lot in the first summer, and sporadically from then onwards.  Every single polaroid, Photo Booth strip and printed photo I've taken since then is in this box.


A Wall of Movie Tickets


At some point in the last two years I began collecting my movie tickets.  Now, looking at the movie titles, I remember each movie, how it made me feel and who I went to see it with.  There's A Royal Night Out, which I saw with my mum and sister, and while it was supposed to be a happy movie, it made me sink into this bittersweet depression.  There's The Visit, which I saw with TN and made us laugh and joke about being scared of old people.  There's Ted 2, which is the first movie I saw with a boy.  And there's Batman vs Superman, which is the most recent movie I watched 3 days ago.  It's funny how much my mood can fluctuate in 3 days.


The Somersby Visor


We were eating at these food trucks when it started pouring, and just for the heck of it we thought it'd be a good idea to run out into the rain.  It was.  We found this pile of green visors abandoned in one of those construction crates, so we stole four and put them on.  Although at first, being wet means you're cold, after a while you get used to it and suddenly you feel. so. free.


Blinky Bill Ears


This was one of those more novice days at work when I first met A.  It was one of those days where I felt sort of like I belonged there.  We decided to put on some of these free promotional ears and I remember her trying to get some of the boys to put them on too.


A Blue Corsage


Because I like the idea of keeping dead flowers from a dance already passed.


So last night I went down to the garage because I've wanted to read Little Women for a few days now - since I watched Joey reading it on Friends - and, well, let's just say it took a while to find it.  Our garage is filled with boxes of stuff we haven't used in around ten years.  My mum has six boxes of books alone, and right on top I found some old musical and concert programs.


To be honest, I think I belong to a family of hoarders.

Love,
M