January 1, 2015

Tin Anniversary

A decade of marriage. 11 years together. The rest of our lives to go.

I love you, Alex.

December 31, 2014

Forgive me, Blog, for I have not written

Forgive me, Blog, for I have not written. It has been more than two years since my last post and throughout this period, this site has been inactive. So much has transpired since the day I left Christchurch that I haven’t had the time to write or reflect on the life changes I've gone through. So why now? Well, today is new year's eve. That time of year when one feels nostalgic about everything. Upon reflection on my old posts, it dawned to me that I have not  written a closure to my PhD-struggle stories which dominated this site. Hence, this entry. 

Let’s pick up where we left off shall we? In May 2012 in the days leading up to leaving New Zealand, I wrote a sappy post about not wanting to leave Christchurch. Well, the moment I got home, my misery subsided, only to be replaced with confusion, doubt and joy. Confusion over the new stuff to learn at work, doubt over my ability to finish up my thesis and of course overwhelming joy upon reuniting with my family. Over the next few weeks, I was bombarded with social gatherings with family and friends, teaching workload and the pressure of getting settled. 

It took me over a month to get my family settled in; new school, new house and a new environment. A whole new life basically. I was not in a good place at that time, having to worry about my thesis  24/7 and juggling between teaching and family life, which to my regret, was filled with loads of panic-attacks. Not one of my finer moments, no. I somehow managed to get myself on track to continue my PhD struggles by following a boring routine: wake up - worry - write - panic - write - sleep. It took all of my blood, sweat and tears, but I finally managed to complete my thesis on 30th November 2012.  Relieved, disbelief and smug. I was all that when I clicked the send button on my email. It was finally over.

About 5 months after thesis submission, I received an email informing a viva defense scheduled for me in May 2013. Consumed with excitement and anxiety at the same time, I quickly made travel arrangements. This was the final leg of the race! I flew to Christchurch a few days before the big day so Yoda could prep me for the viva. That final prep session I had him was probably  the most valuable and memorable. When the time came for me to do the oral exam, things went surprisingly well and all that Yoda chat paid off. After my viva, I had a celebratory lunch with Yoda, who was absolutely delighted that I became his 1st doctoral graduate in New Zealand. Since all of his previous doctoral graduates were supervised when he was still in the UK, that makes me his first NZ baby! 

Yoda, me, my dean and Obi-Wan after the viva

My graduation day was a moment to savour. Although the ceremony lasted for 2 hours, the only minute that mattered was when my name was called and I walked slowly on the red carpet to receive my scroll. The feeling was indescribable. It marked the end of my PhD journey which I have dreamt about for so long. As I sat with my bonnet on my head and the scroll in my hands, images of my countless meetings with Yoda flashed through my mind. I owe my success to him and I knew that I would miss having him as a mentor. I love you Yoda!

Graduation Day

All that happened only a year ago. How time flies. Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Let's write a good one. Happy New Year everyone!

May 5, 2012


Leaving Christchurch brings with it a mixture of emotions – from happiness to relief to a bittersweet sense of loss. For all of the experiences I've gained and people I’ve met; going home seems like a difficult task. The saddest part is leaving the wonderful friends I’ve made through the years. 

Feeling a bit miserable right now but I guess this is only a phase.

I end this short entry with a nice song called Love, Love Love. The band is called Avalanche City.

May 3, 2012

I'm still here

I've been very quiet over the last few weeks. It's mostly been because I've been trying to finish my thesis while packing and coordinating my move to Malaysia. It 's hard to believe my time here is up. After three and a half years in Christchurch, I'm finally moving back to KK!! Between the move, thesis-writing and the chaos at home, I haven't had any time for blogging or bloghopping. Believe me, I've been meaning to read the updates in my reading folder but circumstances just don't permit it.

For this post, let me just tell you what I've been up to the past few weeks, okay?

As I've said earlier, we're moving home very very soon. We’ve been packing like mad over the past few weeks and cleaning the house for our landlord’s final inspection. Inspection day was Sunday and boy, was I relieved when we finally handed over the house keys to Mr. Butcher.

To me, there's nothing fun about packing. The whole process was so stressful, I almost had a meltdown. I felt like crap packing tons of stuff because my ribcage was sore the whole time (will tell you more about this). Second, we had way too many things to get rid of. Deciding what to ship home, donate and sell was physically and mentally draining. I didn’t think we own so many things, but when we started packing, I realised just how much junk we've accumulated over years. Third, when I'm busy packing, I become very moody and I look frumpy. I go into a don’t-come-and-see me mode which is really ugly.
But that's all over now and I am so relieved to have the packing behind me!


Apart from packing, I was also busy selling all our stuff on Trade Me. Trade Me is something like Mudah.com. I find it exciting selling stuff online especially when the bid exceeds my reserve price. These are some of the things I've sold on Trade Me.

I sold these and tons of other stuff like my shoes, handbags, bean bags, TV Cabinet, dining table, trampoline, toaster, rice cooker, printer, vacuum cleaner, broom, laundry basket, study desk, wall clock, and matress. Semua licin!

A Tragic Fall

This event is related to the ribcage pain I mentioned earlier.

Have I told you that I am a total klutz? If I haven’t, well, it’s time I come clean. I have this habit of falling down and hurting myself on a regular basis. Hubby and my sister are constantly surprised that I can fall down while doing something so simple like walking. I think it’s in my DNA.

Last year my great fall happened at the college cafe. Remember this post? I lost my footing while walking into the cafĂ© and landed flat on my butt. Humiliating, yes.  

An incident at the uni 2 weeks ago beats last year’s hands down. On a fine Wednesday morning, while I was working at the office, I got a text message from a guy who saw my Car-For-Sale ad. Overwhelmed by excitement, I got totally disoriented. All I knew was I needed to get home ASAP. So I quickly got out of the office and sprinted toward my car. Instead of walking over this chain barrier thingy in front of the parking lot, I jumped over it. BIG mistake. Instead of jumping successfully, I ended up getting my right foot caught in the chains. 


I fell down hard flat on the ground. Face Down.

The worst thing was a few people and a nenek who was brisk-walking witnessed the entire scene. So there I was lying down on the pavement, with the sun on my face and this elderly woman beside me. I cursed myself for attempting the impossible jump. The nenek said "You had a fright but you’ll be okay”. I thanked her and slowly limped my way to the car. End  of story.

The moral of the story? If you're a klutz, avoid crossing/ jumping/ walking over barriers of any sort.

The barriers

Selling my Camry

Another big decision I made last month was to sell  my car. I bought it in 2010 with the intention of shipping it to KK. I was keen on doing that because according to Kastam di Raja Malaysia (KDRM), overseas students  who intend to import cars to the country get student AP. Plus, a majority of my seniors have imported their cars without much hassle. This means the cars arrived promptly and the payable tax was reasonable. For instance, my colleague JD, who went back to Malaysia last year was charged RM18K in tax for his 2001 Honda Stream. Reasonable, don't you think?

So. What made me change my mind? Well, when I asked for a quotation from KDRM in Port Klang, I was told that I needed to pay about RM31K for my Camry. Fine. I then called KDRM in Kota Kinabalu to ascertain the figure. Guess what? The KK custom official had a different quotation. It was RM62K! DOUBLE the amount given by Port Klang custom. Crazy right? Shouldn't the formula for import tax be standard across the country? To make the story short, I decided to sell my baby and avoid paying a fortune in tax. I was sore about it but didn't have a choice.

So there you have it. My excuses for not being able to blog. I have a few more days to spend in Christchurch and I'm starting to feel a bit emotional about leaving. I guess that's the reason why I'm writing this entry - to remind myself what life is like right now.