My dear readers,
I left my heart in Melbourne. To be exact, all of us left our hearts there. To think about it, I didn't really expect much from the trip, given that it was supposed to be an academic visit and not on holiday basis. Furthermore, the ones I was closed to were only Kak Dilla and Kak Non. Dr. F was more of a lecturer than a friend, of course. I've known Shida only from my frequent visits to Post Grad Lounge and I've known Didee solely from the trip. So of course I didn't expect much. Neither that I expect these so called strangers are now my close sisters. Yes, we are officially the sisters of Melbourne Connection Inc. I got particularly close to Didee, despite our age difference. We shared the same mind when it comes to shopping as we basically bought almost similar things haha.
The presentation went very well. Of course, there were areas of improvement but everybody did well. I was a bit lucky though, as I had the chance to present in a conference room full of profs and drs and phd candidates (while others present in an informal classroom environment), and my paper had received good feedback from the floor. I was nervous at times (especially at the starting point) but managed to finish the presentation ok, I guess. :) The best part was of course, being able to share my interest in CALL with other interested parties. I found one Malaysian Chinese who's so interested in my presentation that she wanted to expand it into one of her researches (isn't that great?!). We exchanged email address with a promise to keep in touch.
I wish we had more time to tour Melbourne city. What's a day tour compared to what Melbourne has to offer? However, in those short stints, we managed to see Melbourne at night (Friday's their shopping night out), and had the whole of Saturday for Queen Victoria Market and Federation Square. Wish we had more time for all the Factory Outlet Stores around Melbourne haha.
Frankly, before this I thought Melbournians were snobs (dont know where I got the idea) but it has changed completely once I was @ down under. Melbournians were some of the nicest people I've met, and I was surprised to see how helpful and wonderful they were! We've met wonderful Melbournians at La Trobe, on the tram, at the road sides, at the kebab store, at the pizza place etc... they were truly wonderful people. Talkative and friendly. Good looking and drop dead gorgeous haha. Quoting a Ralph Lauren model look-a-like Melbournian we met on the tram, "All you have to do is smile..". So that's exactly what we did, and wallah! Everybody was offering help even when we don't need one. Wonderful!
Of course, there's no perfect world. We've met some of the nicest people around, but we've also met some rude ones too. Not so many though, just a few. Kak Non became a victim of a snatch thief on one of the packed trams from Queen Victoria Market. It was painful for her, and a shock to us as well. But we managed to deal with it like matured women. Everyone was being helpful, and that's when I realised that this truly is an experience to remember. We were sisters, through thick and thin. The Melbourne Connection Inc sisters. :)
I wish I could write in details on what happened in
All in all, if I could sum this up, from the August tragedy in Singapore to presenting papers to meeting the tram guy to meeting Lui to the night peptalks and to finding Gerogi - everything was worth the trip. ;p
And I've been thinking a lot lately. I love Melbourne so much that I have actually thought of going there for PhD (instead of to UK).
Now you know how much I've been in love with Melbourne. :)
p/s: Yes, I found Krispy Kreme.