Sunday, December 18, 2005

paiseh dear all.

harhar oh dear. here i am in urbana illinois. as promised in the last entry though! well my exciting first semester has just come to an end. ok lar, on thurs night i finished my last exam. it's been pretty hectic, a little rough settling in, staying in a dorm (but with tracy! makes things alot easier), meeting new pple (mostly singaporeans though. but ah, slowly does it, i enjoy getting to know people regardless of who they are, as long as they're interesting and are interested in sustaining a conversation. but i've settled into a routine, it feels good. work load was stifling at first, a period of time i was really pressured. the uncertainty of my grades (it was initially all that we've learnt in the As.. but i was really apprehensive after that, what if i don't know what they're talking about when they teach new topics.), especially since my grades are, technically, all i should be concentrating on. have been working hard! seems like weekends are the only time you get to relax a little, but don't over do it! coz you'll most likely end up not having done your work and not ready for your new week. (hoho, all too familiar feeling). some .. interesting things:
freshman 15. check. "it's not cold, it's only 0C outside" becoming a casual phrase. check. macdonald's. no check!! american friends. semicheck. ccas. no check=PPP. pubbing. check. drinking. uh. check. frat party. (a single pathetic one). check. american accent (knowing when to switch). check. made friends with senior with a sports car;). check. getting to know some astar friends (all over the country though) better. check. =). boyfriend. no check. (harhar for alll you kpoh pple out there!) hating the cold weather. no way check! (crunching on virgin snow every day. cool). i'll add more if i think of any.

some significant events to update you guys on.
aug 17 - getting here, settling in

Sending off party. was touched to see so many there, at 7am. had to rush in in the end, running from check in gate to departure.
but yeah, was really touched that my friends came.

(left) my room. i discovered upon checking in, that tracy's my roommate. how cool's that;)

the next day i went exploring with my camera. this is the union, where everythin happens.

sept 3-4 labor day - chicago trip.
the singapore students' association organised a shopping trip to chicago/chicago suburb, for winter clothes and what not. spent the first day sightseeing and second shopping. this is from the first day. the party i hung out with all afternoon, tracy (roommate), elsie (grace's mom) and mark, outside the cheesecake factory. -smile broadly-=))).

navy pier and lake michigan from the john hancock tower.

north chicago coastline.

two of them and me spoiling it=) harhar it's the only one with the chicago skyline And 3 of us lar.

(right) this is really pretty. sorry so many photos=P but it was pretty breathtaking, i sat on navy pier facing chicago through sunset. it was pretty charming and romantic!=) ok one last one=)
yes chicago.

oct 01 - roadtrip to st. louis=)
st. louis is the capital of missouri which is the state south of illinois. three of my seniors and i took the greyhound down, because one of them had bought his car over ebay from some guy living in the suburbs of st. louis. so we took to the opportunity to explore a bit. when i got there i suddenly remembered why i love travelling. the feeling of being in a new place, with a map and backpack, some coins and cash. shiok. and that's when i decided yeah, travel!!

st. louis is famous for the arch. these two are my seniors, the one on the left is the one with the sports car, the one on the right is a safos scholar (so everyone said must suckup to him coz he go back surely bigshot one=) harhar. but he's a very nice and funny guy.) the last senior is a girl, the girlfriend of the guy on the right. that was pretty cool! a spontaneous roadtrip (i decided to join them the day before that). oh and i had to go to great lengths to take this photo ok! so only think nice things.

oct 15-16 - michigan comes to town!
umich pple had fall break around this time (but i didn't) and we played host for our friends=) it was great to see all of them again. i hope they had a good time, i certainly did, especially seeing them.
from left: junrong from astar, jerald, christine!! 3f!!! fiona and junwan, my dear girls here, val lee, and finally jeremy.all the visiting mich pple are from dsta, and except for junrong and val the other 3 are from dsta (and hence fiona's friend).
we took them out for dinner after showing them around campus, and we had a nice time chilling, catching up, exchanging gossip at the moonstruck chocolate cafe. then they all came back to my room, and guess what, (i'm gonna say this man), they MUGGED. they left the next morning after meeting up with helmi, our senior from rj. the twins jerald and jeremy are actually very close to helmi and that was mainly why they came by. they chionged down the highway from chicago averaging 90mph. gawd. boys.

movies and drunks.
went out pretty often during weekends for movies. so i'm not That cut off ok=PP it's pretty nice just to hang out with my freshman batch. wonderful pple. joshua, fiona, junwan, dominic and tracy.
drinking's a big part of the school culture here. pple start drinking from thurs night on till mon night. all the boys ust drink n drink, when you get on the bus at night you can smell the alcohol. pretty amusing. i quote, "like they've never seen alcohol before".
but i've had some amusing experiences with drunks. mark is a very docile drunk, revisits his childhood when he's intoxicated. and joshua's a Hilarious drunk. harharhar so funny. and i remember distinctly this other time, i was entering joe's (pub) there was this jovial drunk, he said, heyyy, how're you doing tonight. (then some stuff) what's your name? (answer) well, my name's sexy, but i prefer to go by "joe". HARHARHARHAR. damn cute lar. i was scared at first. but most of them are just so amusing and cute.

our apartment.
october's the season to hunting for our apartments next year. joshua did most of the work, and they found a four-bedroom apartment along s. lincoln, near the springfield intersection. it's just opposite sq's apartment. tracy and i went to look at a 2bedroom in that building as well, turns out there's one right beside the 4 bedroom one that the others (fiona junwan dominic joshua) already took, and we looked at it, price is a bit steep, $405 compared to our seniors' which range from 250 (gawd can you believe it) to 350 (well there's 415 too). but it was comfortable and we liked it, so why not. and we had a feeling it'll be pretty hassle free. landlord looked decent. so we signed the lease to move in aug 2006 till aug 2007. hooray!! can't wait to move in. can't believe have to stick through another semester of this nonsense.

nov 04 - birthday.
my two neighbours, mark and tracy had in store a little surprise for me. but i spoiled it, 20 mins before midnight. oops=) but i appreciate it nonetheless! especially some pple.. pretty tired from work and all.=S that was really a nice gesture.
the next day the remaining freshmen went out for dinner with me, and they ordered a present off amazon/ebay too. was jsut what i needed, a sling bag. it's a pretty orange levi's too=))). perfect.

nov 12 - joshua's new car.
so exciting, joshua got his new car! which he bought off ebay. sq and his friend, and i (i was a bit extra lar=P) all drove up with him in a rental car to chicago. picked up his new car from a suburb, drove through downtown, i got my cheesecakes, and then we drove all the way back again. pretty signifcant event. first freshman to get a car! real early though. i pray he won't be abused=PP ohoh and he's a nice smooth driver btw. but in chicago it was quite funny. he was getting evidently more tense as he drove on the highway alongside many other cars, into the grand city. harahr then traffic was pretty bad, somewhere a cab on the opposite side trying to turn (across our path) almost banged into us, then gave us a finger. -pissed off-. and we searched for parking for half an hour. sigh. oh before that we were driving through the south side of chicago. pretty daunting. it was really scary. pple going around with cardboard signs.. but they were all blacks. every single person i saw. there was this mood.

nov 18 - 25 - thanksgiving break - great smoky mountains trip.
a few of our seniors organised this trip to the great smoky mountains in tennessee. a 7 hours drive down, camping for 3 nights, cabin lodge for two nights, and then shopping on black friday bwaharharhar. alot of things happened during the trip (i mean many activities) and it was pretty fun except for the times we milled around in our 15 seater van with no purpose (due to bad weather etc) many many photos=)
(left) first day after arriving in the mountains, hiking.

(right) the end of our hike: a waterfall.

(left) bro!

(right) scenic loop

-family- dinner at our cabin. sweet, our cabin was=)))

it started snowing after thanksgiving. pretty=) enjoying the cold, although my seniors said, give yourself two weeks to start hating it. harhar.

my car.
i bought a car with junwan last friday. our senior's chrysler. =) hm.

and now.. winter holiday.
i'm leaving on monday afternoon for chicago, to stay with xu xu. thurs we're goingto boston together, and on friday we'll be meeting up with joshua...and the rest. well i'm really excited. but yesterday morning mark left, and this early morning tracy and fiona left as well. kinda sad.. and guess what, "it's only the end of the first sem".
now at sq's house, with joshua. see what we can do=) eat lor.
excited but scared abt tmr. tmr's our day to leave!

i talked to emily online last night. long long time since i've gotten here. pretty guilty to admit, normally life back home doesn't really come to mind. feels like a different life, it is actually. whole set of different things to make up my own life here. at first it felt pretty surreal, felt like taking a holiday. nothing felt permanent, spending money as if i were a tourist. but gradually it got better. my own credit cards, my own bank account, my own hp line, my own bills to settle... on my own. feels pretty good. but once in a while when i'm free, i take out the bag of notes that my friends wrote to me before i left, and remember what i loved about home.
and then one fine day some time ago i talked to hon, that was alot of info update for me. and then i saw jen's commissioning photo on hon's blog. i was really touched. sorry had to miss it. she sure looked good though. and then there was the occasional encounters with weili, Always at the funniest of times: 3am, 10am (when my phys lecture starts)..etc. harhar. then there's cai with her united kingdom exploits.
so all my friends, you're still on my mind. hon, jen, grace, cai, telle, kai... love you guys.