Home away from home

Never eat the wanton here. Ever.

I swear it’s like eating a miniscule pao with discounted fluffiness and extra bad flour.

Still, better not take a risk your health insurance would probably never cover.

Just met two fellow Taylor’s ADPians. A Chinese and a Burmese. Brought them to China Buffet.

Wasn’t exactly the best idea. They appointed me to be their chef for healthy cooking.


Orientation was yesterday and it’s only the very first day (of the two weeks)! I’ve moved into a dorm for temporary housing the day before. IU’s Net Access website kept popping up to remind me how I’m no longer a hotel guest and am unable to download copyrighted material solely with free will.

Meh again.

It was only last night that my alco memory figured that I already have my computer network ID and it’s the same shit as the procedure for the Central Authentication Service (it’s like some basic student login) and I’m not even legal enough to drink (here)! (So why o why is my memory still so alco?)

Hence the MIA of nearly 3 days.

Americans are smart. They give you a pop quiz right after the very boring lecture on immigration and give freebies (i.e. vouchers) for random correct answers!

So, from the bottom of this massive auditorium, Chris the speaker of the Welcome Note of the undergraduates orientation, someone supposedly very important whose full name I shall attempt to find out again, asked the hall of students the total amount of flight time they took to arrive in the local airport.

“The person who took the most effort will get something special,” Chris tantalized.

I absent-mindedly calculated the amount of time I spent above sea level.

A slender chocolate hand shot up.


“I came all the way from Calcutta, India, and I took a train to Bombay and then to China…”

She basically took 20.5 hours to arrive at her destination and received strong applause from the audience.

“Wow,” Chris remarked. “That is a long way down here.”

I couldn’t help but to think that I nearly spent more than a day’s worth of time.

“Anybody else would like to top that?”

The crowd stirred slightly. The Westerner in me struggled to break the Asian silence.

Another hand shot up.

“Yes, sir!”

“I took a plane to Sing-ka-por……”

Tidal wave of laughter. Thousands of pupils dilated. Necks craned. Familiar voice.

“…and den from Sing-ka-por I take enoder plane to L.A……took a taxi for two hours.”

I was so amused that I didn’t catch every detail.

“So kiasu. Must either be a Singaporean or Malaysian,” I chuckled to my newfound Korean friend, N.

“That’s about 24 hours! Very impressive!” Chris bobbed his head with approval. The crowd applauded once more and silenced.

Chris looked around the room once more.

“Anybody else would like to top that?”

A frustrated debate whirred in my head.

Shit. What’s the number again? How long did I take?


Move it! Say it!

“Well, it seems like we have a winner,” Chris grinned. “And for that effort, you’ve earned yourself two free movie tickets.”

More applause. Some congratulatory laughter. Mixed with voices of appreciation and envy.

When heads finally parted, I caught a glimpse of that victorious voice and identified that very familiar Malaysian face that said hello to the Burmese ADPian and I before he went to sit many rows below us.

At least, I smiled with relief.

“Home is a place where you’re comfortable with. A place where you can ask questions; where the information won’t be held against you.”

Chris, speaker of the Welcome Note, someone supposedly very important whose full name I shall attempt to find out again

Something Malaysia is not for me and more.

Dad commented that he felt as if we’ve been around for a very long time.

Interestingly, I wished for more time.



Stand behind the yellow line


3 responses to “Home away from home

  1. Pingback: What happened « Hello America !

  2. aww…are you just too shy to put ur hands up, Jolin? LOL

  3. Pingback: Epilogue of the first nine « Hello America !

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