Thursday, October 27, 2011

Every chapter has a beginning and an end.

Dear 85 year old me, in case I forget (which I might),

Hugged bb good bye for a week and took five days off from work.

Four years of study now draws to a close as I end another chapter of my life. If you did not already know, On the 19th of October, we graduated from the sausage fest of Imperial College London class of 2011! The piece of paper says: Masters of Chemical Engineering with a year abroad (First Class Honours)! Just flew in Saturday alone to meet mum and dad who were already in Frankfurt on holiday. The weather in London was unpredictable as sh*t and was nothing short of ridiculous. Flying from sunny KLIA at midnight to the deserts of Doha, I arrived at Heathrow  T4 (notice that terminal 4 is reserved for middle east countries!). Last week's weather forecast 20 degrees celsius heat wave... This week, 3 degrees Arctic winds... And yes, I packed for the heat wave... Clod shoot!  

Anyways, I took the old faithful underground in which the retarded circle line was still under repairs on weekends... When the f are they gonna finish repairing that line?? Nonetheless, there were other ways to get around. 

The first stop I made was to visit my cousin Gary who is now serving time a first year under graduate at Imperial. Good luck couz. Have fun with Malaysian Nite! 

Next I walked to Berjaya Eden Park Hotel from Paddington. Honestly, not a very nice hotel for the price you pay, even for London. Parents arrived a lil later cause of flight delays from Germany. Dinner at Gold Mine Bayswater! Waited an hour just to get a seat...

My trip to London was not without tasks, lets see, wanted to buy a new jacket in Malaysia but procrastinated till the UK and procrastinated till I'm back in Malaysia. Moral of story, procrastination = money saving technique :) Buy Starbucks Tumbler for bb, checked! Buy Jane Norman top for bb, oops, din go shopping... Buy iPhone 4s, epic fail cause just released in UK and no more stock since the launch 3 days ago. 

There was also taking parents to Madame Toussads. As a proper Londoners ( My parents and myself studied in London at some point) we have not set foot into the wax museum before. Would recommend to go once and don't miss the 4 D theater. Taking pictures with Christina Aguilera was priceless tho!

Dinner, drinks and catching up! This trip certainly was a catching up time for my parent with all their UK friends who are now retirees. I caught up with Basil, my former manager at the Natural History Museum where I funded my Eurotrip! worked part time. Dinner with Cheok (who gave me a surprise!) and Yvonne. Too much drinks with Wai Kit and  Chien Sheng ( don't think ure safe from my blog!)

One day before graduation, got the graduation tickets and tickets to Mama Mia for my parents! To beat the queue, I had my graduation pictures taken! Apart from one or two Ang Mos, most of the people takin early photos were in fact malaysians! Talk about being Singaporeans being kiasu (only way they can more kiasu is that took even earlier or not at all!) But I was a decision well made cause the next day, the queues were in excess of two hours! Well done Malaysians!

Graduation day came quickly, went to eat breakfast at the SCR and got my graduation robes! Wohooo! One and only time I get want to wear it! We were ushered to the Royal Albert Hall next door. The crowd was massive, 2500 graduands, with average 3 guests each filled the Victorian Age hall to the brim!

Garbed in velvet, a testament to the purple dye invented here... Not very traditional, but a reflection of the modernization taking place. After announcing the names of the thousands of graduates, and some organ music, we were out within 3 hours! Weee! Throws invisible hats up in the air!

Yes, the piece of paper might be worth it's weight in gold ( and imperial's degrees are printed on very light paper actually wtf) the university experience for me was more about friends, some funny, some to look up to and some to be there when u need them! So why not start from the very beginning of uni life?

Aug 2007. Freshers camp! Joined the camp to meet Malaysians who will be attending imperial. From there we got to know loads of people and even our seniors. Went to exchange numbers and break the ice.

September 2007. Tears in her eyes, I could only wave goodbye. Bye bb, as we spent our last days at Sunway. I promised so many things even before college, hopefully I've kept them all now that we are finally back together.

Flew to London via Dubai with the one and only Xander! He was offered a place in Oxford to study Biochemistry @ Brasenose college! 6 hours transit went by so fast playing 4 rounds of DotA on our laptops! Thanks for showing me around Oxford! Must have been there like times now, most visited place in the UK! Good luck job hunting and keep up ur photography! Upon arriving in the UK for rye first time, we parted at Heathrow Airport and went our separate ways. It was drizzing... Welcome to London. 

Only problem was, I could only check in my halls the next day!! How?? Sleep on the streets of London for the first night?? Luckily there were two really nice seniors who let me stay a nite over at theirs. I met Jee Wayne and Zhern Yoong at the freshers camp and at their place in Gloucester Road, there was XL and Ohm. At this point, my memory is scaring me cause I can seem to remember so much (this skill shud have came during exams). We had dinner which cost ten pounds (RM 70 at that time) at Bugis Street -.- bye bye pocket...

Oh well... Morning came quickly and they were so kind to take me to the new Southside Halls. Then there were three, Tizzard,

Cant rmb!!

There I was room mates with Daniel Fullgrabe, from Material engineering  now doing aero! An Ang Mo from Hong Kong who is half British and Australian!  Sorry Dan if I snored too loud!! Can remember him waking me up a few times cause I snored. So it was then I started finding ways to sleep without any noise :( Ha still remember he was kinda plump when he came into imperial. We would visit Ethos at the gym and he was my coach teaching me the proper way to do weights! Now his biceps are the size of my thighs. My first London bus ride was with Dan as well! We took the 76 to Piccadilly Circus... One hour later, we were in the suburbs... We took the wrong direction! Epic fail but it was the last time! Have a great final year Dan! Don't change ur sleeping habits anymore during exams oe two days study, one day sleep X( 

Down the hallway was Ce Dong my classmate from Sunway College and Poh Shen whom I met in the freshers camp! They had a room that could park two SUVs and a toilet that I could breakdance and liondance  in ( at the same time) Round the kitchen was Arwin, an exchange student from Melbourne who would later pick me from Melbourne Airport in my Exchange year! Together we were the fantastic four... Playing DotA when we had nothing to do and often getting pawned intranetwork. Besides the cooking and grocery shopping with luggages, we went to the London orientation together in that frigging cold topless bus and Waterloo takin pics at the London Eye and Houses of Parliament. Hehe we spent the year playing ping pong and cards.

Then somewhere within the first two weeks of turning my expectations of the country side into the middle of the most populous city in the world, I got an unexpected call from a former college friend whom I had said farewell to.   Thanks Yvonne, without that call, I doubt that I would have travelled to some places, or tasted so many things during Uni. For all your dining enquiries, go to her! I guess this is farewell again. Have fun with WY! There were many more people I met from LSE, so a hot shout out to da cha bos, Helena, Chea Ming (same birthday!) Wyng and Agnes (who was the first girl who gave me the middle finger) plus Yvonne Chua from the USA not forgetting the guys whom I still need to have some drinks with, Clarence,(Same birthday!)

What was Uni without some work! Chemical Enginnering at Imperial started with a bunch of us in professor Luchkam's office on the second Wednesday of October 2007: Chioma, Damitha, David, Alex and Isabella who would be my first lab partner for the first few months! Yeah, oh man, you guys were great! Really miss the time when we celebrated my birthday in 2008, it was the union, the Queen Arms, and Tiger Tiger for drinks and clubbing till we were kicked out at 3am! (FYI I was back in lectures at 9am and was KO by 11am after Math) you guys were great! Shyle, 2nd year was classic comedy, the rows and rows of computers after 7pm was historical for PDC, you banker! Third year was spent at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and i am pretty sure that i penned my thoughts in this blog somewhere! There were many people in the department and too many great people to speak of, but this space here is dedicated to my final year design team who did their best and emerged the best! It was great working with Syuhada, Alex, Angus, Deen, Yuru, Shen, Jay, Niklas and Pong who were not only experts but a great bunch! Special thanks to Ke Lun whom accompanied me to the Netherlands for a competition. Finally, An applause to Nigel who slaved with me on the 5th floor of ACEX for 6 months measuring the size of molecules! 

Before Facebook there was email and SMS...that was how bb and me communicated across the oceans. The obvious problem was the time zone. we were 8 hours hours apart for half of the year and 7 hours during daylight savings so saying goodnight is saying good morning. There were a lot of mis communications and non communication at the time. There was MSN then Skype. Yet the simplest thing of just being there was the biggest challenge of all and seeing someone face to face is nothing technology can ever replace.   

Yet as I promised bb, I am now back and with an old chapter closed, a new life begins. Many more things to do, many more to learn. Opportunities, challenges, time put to use what you have learned, and see how far it will take you. It took sometime to understand what he meant, but the late founder of Apple, Steve Jobs once quoted, 

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

If you manage to reach this part of the post, you are either too free or too old :)

Now, go live your life and come back when you miss your younger days,


The 23 year old me, 2011


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