Archive | March, 2015

History Does Not Repeat Itself

31 Mar

Life in university for M1 started on a good note as far as dorm life is concerned. She has a Japanese room-mate whom she met at the airport upon arrival. I am relieved that this little worry turned out okay unlike what I experienced.

As I had mentioned before, what are the chances of history repeating itself, let alone for two situations – the arrival and the room-mate? You can gather by now, my initial college years did not start off well but towards my junior and senior years, it was much better and overshadowed those trying moments.

During my time, I was supposed to live in the dorms. I got to Flagstaff a few days earlier before the dorms opened. Soon after my arrival episode, I checked out from the motel and reported to the International Students office; I was hosted by a Taiwanese girl, who lived off campus. Her room-mate was away, so she was able to put me up. This temporary arrangement worked out well until I had to move into the dorms.

This is where it all fell through…

I remember clearly as I lugged my luggages through the room door, my American room-mate was there in the room with a guy, presumably her boyfriend.

My presumption proved to be right because the first thing she said to me was,”Hi. My name is…. (Somehow I don’t recall) and this is Scott (This, how can I forget?) and he will be here on a long term basis.”

Oh. My. God.

What a statement. What a welcome. Stunned and speechless was what I was…

My tummy retched. As liberal as I was (and still am) I just couldn’t stomach this. Everything was a blur after that but it did not matter. That night, I went back to the Taiwanese girl and slept on the couch.

The next day, I went straight to see the Director of Housing and made my case to terminate my supposedly non-negotiable dorm contract. Citing moral issues and culture shock to top off this unsavory experience, I was able to convince him of this undesirable and unwelcoming situation. Thankfully he was very sympathetic. As I did not want a reassignment, fearing another similar episode, I was accorded a full refund. However, as a result of this decision made, I was left to my own devices to find accommodation and semester was starting soon!

Thank goodness, there’s always a good soul around who helped me on the accommodation problem. I ended up living off campus, sharing a two bedroom apartment with two American girls and a Singaporean girl.

So looking back now in comparison, I am so glad none of what I went through recurred for my child. She’s got a good start.

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Coping Well

30 Mar

It’s been slightly more than a week since M1 left. We are adjusting. Suddenly the house seems too big and too quiet despite the fact we still have M2 around. Life goes on… starting with a no carbo regime for me to get back in shape.

Thank goodness for technology, we ‘whatsapp’ all the time, sometimes at the oddest of hours forgetting the different time zone and Skype twice a day, once in the morning and again at night, our time. Both hubby and I are very happy and pleased that she has settled down well in the dorms and enjoyed her one week of orientation.

Classes start today.

The Joy of Driving, Part 2

27 Mar

It was a Saturday morning and we decided to walk into the BMW showroom to visit our friend who works there. The minute he saw us, he came over eagerly, I think happy to see us more than hoping to make a sale. The sporty looking Z4 caught our eyes. We looked at each other and in our mind, thinking alike, why not?

So we asked if we could take it out for a spin. He obliged but on condition that he has to sit next to the driver for legal issues. What this means is that both of us cannot be in the same car for it is a two-seater.

We both took turns at the BMW Z4. Put it this way, I have never felt such an adrenalin rush driving a car before. And never had I worked up such a sweat before driving. Then again, I have never gotten behind a real sports car and never had I stepped on it until it reached 240km per hour!

Phew.

A Fat Mermaid

26 Mar

Last night I had my gym session with just my trainer and it felt strange. No hubby (he had a dinner meeting) and the girls around unlike the week before where it was the final gym session for M1 with my trainer. It was fun because M2 came along and we sweated together for the last time. I thought it was a necessary session (remember my weighing scale?) especially to rid all that guilt (and fat) from the constant eating during the last week before M1 flew off.

My trainer gave us a tough time and everyone gasped for breath. But that wasn’t all. While doing stretching on the floor, M2 commented that I looked like a manatee. The gall of her! Giving her mommy a tough time too.

My trainer perked up and asked politely, a what?

Unabashed, she reiterated the manatee mention and fueled it further with a fat mermaid description, and that I looked like both. Eeesh. But all in good fun, we had a great laugh, gasping for breath all over again. M2 was on a roll with her acid jokes.

Right after that, she also mentioned that a fat unicorn is actually a rhino in disguise. Geez… The things they learn from the internet.

Well, fat mermaid and fat rhino aside, I really have to sweat it out and was glad we had that session together last week. Another memory etching moment to cherish.

M&M Time

24 Mar

It was a Thursday during the school holidays (for M2) last week and I dropped the girls off at the mall situated right in the heart of the city. They requested for a change in venue from our favorite malls for this outing to make it special and uninvited us. No parents allowed.

Prior to leaving home, M2 mentioned in passing that it was the end of the world. I feel for her. Her sister, possibly her best friend was leaving and they wanted this private time together.

I asked how come I was not included to which they replied it was an M&M time, and since I am not an ‘M’, I cannot join in. But I pointed out I was an ‘M’ too as in ‘Mommy’ but they insisted it does not count, I am not an original ‘M’. You just can’t have ‘M&M&M’ they chorused! It is only ‘M&M’ that is right.

So both M1 and M2 spent some quality time together. My eyes would well up with tears every time I think about it now. Sniff.

Both hubby and I met them later in the evening for dinner.

Anxiety and Relief

23 Mar

It’s hard to drive when one has blurry puffy eyes. Thank goodness hubby was much stronger and did not shed freely at the farewell like me and M2. After we hugged M1 for the last time and said our goodbyes, there was much anxiety that followed the heavy heart. Until we hear from her only the anxiety went away and relief set in.

My neighbor saw us when we got home on Saturday night and called me. She insisted I should go over and have some wine, which turned out to be a good thing. Looking at my miserable state, she consoled me. At the same time, she welcomed me to this phase of life when the children would leave home for their tertiary education, gently reminding me she experienced this twice with her children and totally understands my emotions.

The wine helped dull the heavy ache and provided a good buzz to sleep. But I managed only four hours of uncomfortable rest. Anxiety.

By Sunday morning, we managed to Skype her when she was in transit at Incheon and again, at Narita; it was good to hear her voice. But we had to wait longer before we heard from her again when she did the final leg of the journey.

Her journey was approximately 24 hours of flying with the two transit stop-overs but not counting the time to clear immigrations and customs, followed by a 90-minute bus ride to campus. By the time she arrived at campus and checked into the dorm, it would be another good six hours added on to the journey. How tiring!

Last night, I tracked her aircraft on flightaware.com and was able to monitor the flight path and ETA. Amazing what technology can do these days. Thankful that she arrived safely and on schedule, and with both immigrations and customs cleared without a hitch, hubby and I can breathe easier. Relief.

M1’s life as a freshman at university officially has begun!

I Need a Box of Tissues

21 Mar

Time flew by so fast, it’s heart wrenching. We have another hour before M1 goes through the gates. I started tearing when we left the house.

And sniffed all the way during the hour long journey to the airport. Every now and then, the dam would break. I really need a box of tissues!

The last time I cried this much was when I was reading David Baldacci’s One Summer novel. It is not so much of sadness but a sense of heaviness in the heart. Letting go is tough. Everyone tells me I have to accept it but it’s tough.

I can feel puffy eyes developing; definitely will have them by tomorrow if not by midnight when we go home.

Last Day Together

20 Mar

Today is the last day for the family as a unit; come tomorrow M1 and Humphrey will leave for university. It has been an emotional week of sorts. Flashes of when I was leaving my parents dinosaur years ago crowded my thoughts and now, a sense of déjà vu, only that the situation is the reverse now – me as the parent and my child leaving.

The whole week had been packed with luncheons and dinners with friends and family. I have stopped standing on the scale and I think it has given up on me too.

I am so glad that this week is also the school holidays, so M2 was able to spend the precious week with M1. Come tomorrow, let us not be sad but be happy for the new and exciting life that awaits M1.

I Shouldn’t Worry

19 Mar

There were several occasions M1 tells me she is, at times, worried about the impending journey and new life ahead. I would simply raise my eyebrow at her and share with her, my journey to college to make her feel better, and reiterated that I don’t think history would repeat itself. I mean, what are the chances of what I experienced recurring again, this time with my child? This aside, I am proud that she is following my footsteps in her journey towards higher education in the USA.

I traveled alone halfway across the globe to pursue my degree in Graphic Design. And when I arrived at the little airport in Flagstaff, Arizona, after clocking in more than 24 hours of travel, nobody from the university came to meet and greet me! Can you imagine the horror and fear I went through?

But I guess I was tired and numbed beyond belief from the long journey and did the most unthinkable thing ever, and it is something I tell my child constantly NOT to do.

I hitched a ride with two strangers and their dog in their pickup to town. Hold your wild imaginations, nothing bad happened! They were very nice to drop me off in a motel across campus and went on with their journey.

But do that now in this era, the consequences may turn out differently. Thank goodness, there is someone definitely meeting her. With the internet, repeated correspondence via email, she will be met at the airport, shown the way to board the bus and journey on to campus where someone else will greet her and settle her into life as a freshman at university. So no, I shouldn’t worry.

A Breather

17 Mar

In between the eating and last minute things to do or buy for M1, I still have a breather now and then with my virtual games. 

For Candy Crush, I have completed Gummy Galaxy, the last chapter available on the iPad and after being stuck at Level 861 of Truffle Terrace on the laptop, I finally crossed it yesterday morning.

As for Candy Crush Soda, I have progressed well to Level 261 and Farm Heroes at Level 713. Even my  Zookeeper Battle, I have battled more than 7,000 battles! These games are not a waste of time but are good distractions from having to worry too much for her impending departure.