Some of the things I did and cherished this year. The summarized review is sorted monthly.
#1 - January -
I stayed back in Brisbane to do summer school while most of my friends left home for internships and holidays. I found a new, cozy place to study - at a quiet corner of a foodcourt overlooking the main shopping street of the city.
I went hunting for a new home as I moved out from College and stayed temporary at my friend's apartment. Finally, I rented a fully furnished two-room unit near to uni. This is my first time renting and managing an entire household on my own.
January was the month that I started to learn cooking indepedently because I was all the time served while in College. I started with simple stuffs like eggs and canned foods until I was able to cook all sorts of meat today.
#2 - February -
After summer exam, I went back to KL for Chinese New Year. I had my first Yee Sang and homecook Malaysian food in many many months.
Also celebrated my sister's 35th birthday at her home.
My nephews whom I missed so much were as "active" as before. They still thought I'm the giant monster that must be "defeated" - like in those Ultraman movies.
They had a much diverse collection of robots and other toys than before I went to Australia.
Following the walking tour I did in Brisbane last year, I tried to do the same in KL. Unfortunately, the three hours of walking tour around KL CBD was actually not a very pleasant one.
I visited the newly-opened and fashionable Pavilion KL for the first time. The mall has been my "pet project" on SSC Malaysia and my other blog has speculated the list of tenants prior to the mall opening, so much so I was contacted by, apparently, a marketing officer from the management company.
Throughout my short stay in KL during the CNY break, I've visited Pavilion and The Gardens twice.
I met bloggers Michy, Chris and Kylie for the very first time. Michy has been a regular visitor of my blog.
And not forgetting the wonderful dinner and hangout-cum-meetup at Jack's surprise birthday at Italiannies The Gardens.
I left KL at the last few days of February.
It was my first ever flight with a low-cost carrier - that is AirAsia's flight from KL LCCT to Coolangatta, Gold Coast Australia. The flight was well above my expectations and I met a nice chap who kept on telling me how much love he had for Asian cultures and people.
I felt sorry that I did not reply his call as I've changed to a new phone.
#3 - March -
Started living with my only housemate - Chris from Singapore. His "experienced" wisdom gave me good advice on many youth, academic and career issues.
Being a committee member, I indulged mostly in Malaysian-club activities throughout the first few months back in uni.
We had a few social events like the UQMSA welcoming barbeque at South Bank as well as the MASCA's welcoming barbeque at UQ Lakes.
It was a good time for me to socialize with many Malaysian newbies - particularly females. But sometimes I myself stole the limelight with my sissy posing attitude like the above.
I tried frisbee but wondered how much time I need to improve my skills on this game. Too bad, Michael is just too good for me.
The highlight of the month was probably the trip to Byron Bay, border town between Queensland and New South Wales. The majestic lighthouse on Cape Byron is the most eastern point of mainland Australia.
The guy on the right did jumping shots at almost every corner of the bay, hill and beach.
So during this trip, I probably seen the largest and most entertaining "jumping show" in my life!
#4 - April -
The month of April was abit quiet but "extraordinary" for me.
These two ladies have taught me, indirectly, much more than I need to know about girls, women, love, dating, sex, growing up, boyfriendhood, manlihood etc. So they became the closest to me.
But the tutorial lessons weren't cheap because I received the most shocking phone bill ever in my life, yes, in April 2008 !
#5 - May -
The Mamak night was quite fun and profitable. More than 200 Malaysian students at my uni turned up to savour the food we missed most while studying in Australia - from nasi lemak to roti canai (pratha) / roti john to ais kacang.
Sometimes I helped out at Michael's stall - the only "private" stall in this event. With dedication and perservarence, he made and sold roti canai, ais kacang and kuih dadar - quite simultaneously all on his own!
The skies of May indicate winter and, therefore final exam (semester) is approaching.
So more time was devoted to revision than the usual hangouts - physically outside and virtually (on MSN and phone).
#6 - June -
The June month was purely all about Exams, Exams, Exams... ... ...
Mom came to stay with me for a month, and astonishingly my dear mom did all the cooking, washing, house cleaning, etc for me. Thank you mummy.
#7 - July -
The first week of July was quite hectic. I was asked/volunteered to help MASCA QLD because we won the rights to host the annual MASCA National Conference and Games. My tasks, from food preparation/cleanup to scorekeeping of basketball matches, kept me busy during the start of winter.
As a basketball scorekeeper, I finally understand the whole game, and I believe I had fell in love with basketball after many many months of neglecting soccer.
The last day of MASCA NCG was a Masquerade Ball. It was my first official masquerade, but of course already countless times at balls.
My team and I was deeply sorry for the technical difficulties we had that night. A guy from another (Aus) State came up to me to ask why the Ball hasn't started after almost one hour delay.
All in all, it was a great night though.
I bid farewell to my primary-till-uni mate as he graduated and went back to KL.
#8 - August -
Semester two resumed quickly at the end of July. Lectures sped up so fast in August until I thought I was never able to catch up, especially in ACCT3103 Accounting for Corporate Structures.
I was confident that the semester would soon be over for me, but the motivation to study week-by-week basis was still lacking.
Coincidentally, I met up with Judah 5 mates from Hope Brisbane Church after many months of absence in both church and caregroup.
There were heaps of changes to the group since last year.
I also met a couple of Malaysian students from University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. - the 2nd group of USQ students I met in Brisbane after last year's visit by ChristinaYY and two other Penang Bloggers.
I went to RiverFire '08 with Miccati and met some of his housemates for the first time - two German chicks and one French student pictured here + Japanese, Mexican, etc.
#9 - September -
The multi-nationality exposure of Miccati has also influenced me to appreciate different kinds of food from different countries. As a result, I've now tried Mexican, Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines.
I've to thank Jeremy again for organizing this whale-watching trip off Surfers Paradise.
It was a marvelous outing to remember as we braved the rough waters of the Pacific Ocean and saw a few scenes of the humpback whales slapping the waters with their tails.
Walking around uni at night with Chinese lanterns while on a treasure hunt game is perhaps one of the most unique thing I did this year.
The winning team with the likes of UQ Student Union Committee Members of 2009 and ordinary people like Faiz Yaacob (lol) got a pack of Nando's peri-peri sauces - which was further passed on to my stomach at an invitational barbeque days later.
Not so memorable was my first time eating mooncakes (mini ones though) in Australia that night.
#10 - October -
A typical activity in UQ in the month of October is to do a "snapshot" with the purplish trees known as jacarandas.
As I was taking pictures, I saw groups of Asian girls hugging those trees and do their self-created style of camwhoring.
And finally, by mid-October, I relinquished my committee membership and officially retired from all Malaysian-club affairs at uni. Four of my colleagues were re-elected to the Board of 2009 and I wished them all the best in everything they do.
#11 - November -
November was a crucial month for me, academically. It will be my last compulsory examination in my entire life!
By mid-November, it was all over!!!
After exams, 5 Sydney-siders visited me in Brisbane. First it was Jona and we had dinner at The Pancake Manors. Next it was Jan Nee, Suet Li and Jonathan at Movieworld, followed by a 5 hour evening excursion of Brisbane guided by me.
Later, old friend Yee Yen came with her friend from Adelaide.
I called this "Patchay Wild West Jump" and it pretty sums up how I rejoice after my results (from my last uni exam) were released !
And in the last week of November, I became Uncle for the third time.
#12 - December -
Became an Uncle at the end of November.
Then, my graduation was held at 6pm on 15 December.
And my 21st birthday was on 18 December... as well as my Dad's birthday on the same date.
So a double-triple-quadruple celebrations like never before!
Now that I'm a graduate, much more challenges lie ahead for me. Getting a job during this tough economic times could be difficult, but that's not an excuse to delay that.
2008 has been a relatively quiet and less "sensational" year compared to 2007. With God's help, I now look forward to achieving my goals set for 2009.
Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays!