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Wednesday, July 23, 2003 

winter break retrospective (warning: long enty)

This winter break has been a whirlwind. If I think hard enough, I can remember strolling briskly out of the Royal Exhibition Building exactly at the point when they stop you from leaving the building.

Kenneth Pinto has left the building.

What happened from then on end is just a flurry of activities. Now I'm sitting in front of my computer facing the reality of having four more days of break before my final semester here at Melbourne University.

Final Semester.

Time - there's just never enough of it. Let's take a look at things I wanted to do over the break but never got around to:

1. Taking black & white photos and experimenting with slide film.
2. Cleaning the COSDU store.
3. Reading the four (now it's five) books by my bedside.
4. Uploading photos to my photoisland site.
5. Jogging.
6. Other miscellaneous smaller stuff that's not worth mentioning but that I wanted to do anyway.

On the other hand, I did get to go places I've wanted to go. I managed to meet up with those who remained in Melbourne for the break and got to know some people better. Lots of friends visited. :)

People and Places

It's always good to have him around. Damian was in Melbourne on three separate occasions. He's changed over the years, but all people do. He's still my best friend after all these years. I think his time here has done him a world of good. Reading his blog, I realise once again how lucky I am to be in COSDU, to be surrounded by caring, loving people.

She visited and gave us impetus to go places and to do things. I enjoyed her company and was really glad she extended her stay. Gerry may only have been around for one semester in Melbourne Uni, but her impact lingers on. In fact, during her short time on holiday here, I'm sure she's touched the lives of the new COSDUans she's met.

Ee - she finally came to visit. Well, I know she had fun here! I enjoyed myself bringing her, Lydia and Flo to Great Ocean Road (yes, the wonderful music in the car played a part) and bringing them and others to footy. Dinner at Lydia's was terrific too. I know she's in Singapore now, dreaming of foreign lands...

Ruth, Ruth, Ruth... met her twice since she came. I can't say that I've been constantly in touch with her since leaving Ngee Ann. Meeting her is always amusing to say the least. And I always have her to thank for introducing me to someone wonderful in my life.

"Yah, why?" In her own way, she leaves a lasting impression on everyone she meets. Damian and Gerry are glad to have gotten to know her. Everyone is! She's also very "thweet" (i.e. sweet). I've lost count of the number of times she's given Brian and I stuff to eat. She's also bought us beer a couple of times. She's always willing to lend a hand when we need help for anything. She's always willing to listen to those who need someone to talk to. I could go on, but better not inflate her ego too much :p But I will say this: The holidays would have been different without her around.

She makes really good muffins! :) Just an aside: Speaking of all the food I've been getting, I want to reiterate how lucky I am to be in COSDU - I'm always being fed! Shu'an is intelligent. Her writing is damn cheem, damn deep. (I can picture her disagreeing with me as she reads this. Shu'an, don't sell yourself short.) There are plenty of different kinds of intelligences, and we can't all be good in every area. I think she knows where her talent lies.

What can I say but I think he's grown in terms of his thinking. There're lots of issues we disagree about but he's slowly learning not to be entirely dismissive. He's a challenging person to get to know.

Pugg Mahones
Went there on Sunday night with Florence, Michelle, Brian and Keith. Keith kept on insisting on going out. Well, I agreed this time around. I think I've decline too many times. Also, the holidays were ending, my wallet had been replenished, and there were no classes to wake up for the next morning. No more excuses. I had a great time there. Brian and I were drinking quite a bit. I think we both had two Kilkenny's and five or six Bourbon Cokes. I also had a tequila shot. The music was excellent. Exactly my kind of thing, in the type of atmosphere I like. Reminded me of Damian, Trees and my regular Saturday nights at Victoria Bar in Hotel Intercontinental. Except the music wasn't jazzy. Won't forget that night anytime soon.

Mornington Peninsula
Great Ocean Road Jr. It was an intermittently overcast Wednesday that Damian, Gerry, Maria and I went to Mornington Peninsula. It was a scenic drive. I didn't sleep throughout the entire journey. I think it was a combination of the conversation and the music in the car. I always enjoy road trips with Damian, whether it's just the two of us or with other people. Gerry and Damian had a long running 'do you know so-and-so?' on our way back from Mornington. Had a picnic lunch of sort at Arthurs Seat. There's just something to be said about driving, walking and scenery. I just wish I had a bit more walking that day.

My house
Brian and I spent two days cleaning the house in anticipation of a house inspection. They took a quick glance and left. Nevermind, I actually ENJOYED cleaning the house. Never seen it so clean before.

Funny how you've never been to a place, then suddenly you go there twice in a span of a few days. Chadstone, or Chaddy, is this huge shopping complex. I don't know what it is, but I think I'm not used to shopping in shopping complexes any more. It actually felt... weird. The stores lining Swanston, Bourke and Elizabeth Streets have become the norm for me. Well, I know I'll be used to Orchard and Scotts Road again when I return home. Then again, I've always said that I don't enjoy the crowds in the Capital of Singapore.

Dragon Boat Inn
We bade Sue Lyn farewell over steamboat dinner at Dragon Boat, coffee at some Greek place which overcharged us and Pictionary and Twister at Joanne's place. My Compact Flash card in my digicam exhibited the first signs of going kaput.

Grampians | Telstra Dome | Victoria Ranges Climbing Centre | Great Ocean Road | Yarra River
I've wrote about these in my previous entries, but they were part of my holiday. I feel I should mention them together with the more recent activities and outings I've had. I enjoyed the walking and driving at Grampians tremendously. Footy at Telstra Dome was historic - we were part of a record AFl crowd, and Collingwood won the second of its current four-game winning streak. C'mon beat Carlon and Geelong over the next two weekends, and it'll set up a cracker of a match against Brisbane on (Singapore's) National Day. Rock-climbing was also enjoyable. Great Ocean Road is ALWAYS an experience. Will never get sick of it, and I always find new detours to take anyway. The COSDU BBQ at the Yarra turned out to be a great start to the holidays.

Even though I didn't have a trip like Central Australia last winter break, I reckon this break has been just as fun, just as memorable.

Last night, watched Terminator 3 with Brian and Florence. I enjoyed it. Not too over the top, not overly reliant on CG, not too long. Brian couldn't stand it. Bumped into Jennifer Kusuma as well as Deanna, Tricia and Anthony after the movie.

Tonight, Maria Lydia, Diana, Su Li and Adrian return from Perth. Jason should be back tomolo. Christine will arrive from Brisbane tomolo afternoon. I think most of COSDU should be back in Melbourne by the weekend.

Phew. To think that there's going to be so much happening from now 'til December 27th - the day I bid farewell to this place. This place with all the wonderful people I know.

Thank you, God.


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