2015 In (Late) Review

Doing this belatedly. Can't help it, I overestimated myself and now suffer from bouts of guilt. To my over-thinking mind, recapping the year that passed is a must, no matter how late. I just hope I can still remember those life-defining moments that happened in 2015. Here goes:

1. Lost a very good friend, Rohaizad, who'd finally gotten his green card and migrated to the States to be with the love of his life. It's not like we've never been separated before. Ro has always moved around, and once in a blue moon he'd come back. But this time it felt different because his leaving has that sense of finality to it. We met for the last time in JB. I'll never forget his enthusiasm and  his almost child-like eagerness to meet up. We had coffee and goofed around at Jalan Dhoby. He was so happy with the farewell gift Lin and I got for him. Two Malaysian recipe books since he loves cooking so much.  I almost burst into tears when I bid him goodbye. He's such a good friend. Luckily we have Whatsapp so we still keep in touch now and then. I miss you, Ro.

                                          Ro was happy with his farewell gifts!

                                         Goofing around at Jalan Dhoby

2. I brought my TESL kids to see a play at KLPAC. I was worried the play would bore the kids but they seemed to enjoy it. This batch was a very enthusiastic lot. Most of them have never seen plays in English and seeing them happy  experiencing theatre for the first time made me happy.

3. I was invited to be a judge for the National Residential School English Drama Competition. It's not something I hadn't  done before but what made this memorable is the presence of Tiara Jacquelina, a passionate advocator of the arts and a very graceful lady, who was kind enough to sponsor the trophies for this competition. It was really an honour to have her grace the competition.

                                                Judging is hard work ^-^

4. I went to Barcelona and Maldives. Barcelona for a conference with Ann, Aniza and Padma from Sunway. I was told I could apply for funding to go to the conference so I applied. After a rigorous application process which really tested my patience, they rejected my application. Like, one day before I was supposed to leave for Barcelona. I went anyway. Luckily I had some money saved. What made the trip worth it was the publication of my papers with Ann in a SCOPUS journal. I had two publications, yeeha! The conference hotel was in the outskirts of Barcelona so most of our time were spent in Sant Boi, a quaint town 30-45 minutes away from Barcelona. It was nice knowing the hotel where we stayed at used to be a castle. But it was also scary. Hehe. Barcelona was nice, and despite horror stories of pick pockets and thieves, we enjoyed ourselves, especially during the visit to Gaudi's signature landmarks such as Park Buell and LeSegrada Familia and to a Flamenco show. Met Bill Philips from University of Barcelona. Quite a nice guy.

                                             Ann and me in Barcelona

Maldives was like a double celebration for me. It was less than two weeks after my birthday and earlier on at the end of August I had submitted my thesis. The Fantastic Four went to Club Med Maldives and had fun, especially in the evening because they had a show every night followed by some clubbing session afterwards. Activities were abundant. I enjoyed the Aqua Zumba. Also enjoyed our one-night transit in Colombo. But this trip really cost me a bomb. Huhu.

                                             Maldives' kinda morning...

5. Also managed to bring my sis, mom, nephew and niece to Melaka for a short holiday. I booked a nice apartment in the middle of Malacca town, equipped with swimming pool.That was the most I could do. I hope they had fun. I hadn't been to a zoo for a long time so took the kids to Melaka zoo. I think I was more excited than them. Hahaha.

                                                    Raya with my family

6. I finally submitted my thesis on 28 August 2015. What a relief! I felt like the whole planet has been lifted off my shoulders! I had gone through so many hurdles and challenges before I could finally submit it. There was that MicrosoftWord challenge which delayed my printing. My proofreader Khalil was also late. My supervisor - well, late should be her middle name. I did the pre-submission seminar - after I got scared out of my shit. Two weeks before my seminar Elham my friend had hers and was verbally attacked after her presentation. I became paranoid and expressed my concern to my supervisor. I told her I didn't want to get attacked like that. Not when I am about to submit my thesis. Luckily my seminar went well.

                                             The day I submitted my thesis!

                                              Celebrating my birthday in class

7. I got involved in a voluntary-basis project with SUTRA Dance Company. SUTRA, whose founder is the legendary Ramli Ibrahim, was involved as one of the organisers for KL International Dance Festival. The event took a month to complete and involved dance groups from all over the world. My part was to help run concerts at the DBKL Auditorium i.e. ushering guests, monitoring audience in the hall. I had fun watching all the dance shows, especially those from Malaysia and India. I also made a lot friends. My proudest moment was when I was invited for a dinner event at Ramli's SUTRA and he thanked me for my part in the event.

                                            A dance show by ASWARA

8. A friend told me about Tinder, an app that connects people who are looking around for people who are looking around. Hehe. It reminds me of those dating websites back in early 2000s, those that Kak Wan urged me to join. Well, I tried it, mainly as a  reward to myself for submitting my thesis. Met a few guys online but I didn't feel any connection - not the kind of connection I used to have with my ex-muse. Bummer. Maybe I still can't get over him *gosh*. Well, maybe I felt some kind of connection with one or two guys but they didn't last long enough. Anyways, what I learnt from Tinder is that it is a VERY promiscuous dating site, most of the guys seem attached in one  way or another (fuck yeah, I can tell) and are there for fun (and fuck, it goes without saying). So after a few weeks of going nowhere, I decided to uninstall it. Yeah. I felt so relieved. I felt liberated. I guess I'm just too old for dating games. Plus, guys nowadays fail to interest me that much. 

To recap, 2015 has been good to me. I had a few hiccups here and there but eventually I stepped into 2016 with peace of mind! Praise be to God, Lord of the Universe.

For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice.― T.S. Eliot


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