Thursday, October 30, 2008

房间故事

楔子

凌晨五点。

周围是静的。风扇呼噜呼噜地转着,搅动着睡得很熟的空气。房间的灯都熄了,街边的路灯从窗口洒了进来,在一堆纸皮箱旁留下了一片黑影。

她悄悄地挪一挪了身子,自己还是醒着的。身体是酸痛的,怎样也不能伸直身子或找个舒服的姿势。

她不能乱动。床上还有另一个人,在酣睡着。

她已经很努力地把自己缩成最小的一团,尽量占用最少的位子,希望床上的另一个她的睡眠不会被干扰。

很苦,是的。麻烦,是的。所有的麻烦,都必须自己去承受。因为所有的错,都是自己疏忽的后果。虽然至今,她还是想不通为什么会有这样的差错。

起源

两个月前,她突然发现自己还没有收到宿舍的通知。问了一下宿舍,才惊觉宿舍完全没有收到自己的申请表格,所以自己根本没有在住宿名单里。要申请的话,要等名单上的人都有了房子才轮到她。

那时,名单上还有两千人。

她当时在中国参加着节目,通话电邮都极不方便,周围都是来自世界各国的年轻朋友,没有一个了解她的世界发生的一团糟。她没有办法,也没有人好问,连一个倾诉的知音也找不到。

她也一直告诉过自己,一切都只是一时搞错,没事的。但当宿舍的来信最后一次告诉她事实之后,她的幻想破灭了。她继而告诉自己,一切都只是一场恶梦,醒来就好了,没事的。但当梦越做越久,而她还是醒着时,她的这份坚持崩溃了。坐在旅游巴士上,美景当前,她却只想哭。

唯一的慰藉是,她有一个很善良体贴的室友PS,一直在新加坡为她筹谋,想法子。但她的心,还是忧虑的。她写信问了几位朋友可不可以在她们的房间住,朋友们不是婉拒了她,就是说只希望她住的是几个星期而不是几个月。

第一回合

在她要回新加坡的当天,PS告诉了她,她找到了一个朋友,有了房间但不想住,所以愿意把它租给PS。PS也是一个没有房间的流浪者,所以她们两个一起把一张床位租下了。回到新加坡的那一天,她一个人上上下下搬了二十几回,总算把记忆都搬过去了。把门锁起来的时候,她有种感觉,她也把快乐和过去都锁了起来。

搬过去后两天,PS就回家了。她一个人住得也还舒适。

就像电影里一定要有的转折 - 好景不长。她收到了屋主的信条,说她只希望一个床位给一个人住,也就是PS。她又流浪了。在PS回来之前,她一定要再找到一个栖身之所。

第二回合

她的一群AIESEC朋友将到巴西参加国际研讨会,至少会离开三个星期。她问了一位住单人房的朋友,得知她将在PS回来的当天飞走。那天是九月十一号,她一个人在晚上十一时时临时作了决定,提着一个包一个桶抱着一堆被和果果走到了单人房。那天晚上,她忘了带毛巾,只好用穿过的衣服暂当毛巾。抱着果果,她虽有孤独的感觉,但又不能不承认自己是幸运的。

她就在那件不属于自己的单人房住了三个星期。去上课只需要十五分钟的脚程,有自己的厕所,房间里还有冰箱可用,是幸福的。这三个星期,她二十二年来第一次挑战了简单的极限。人,到底需要多少东西才能住得舒适呢?没有护肤品行不行?没有CD娃娃故事书鞋子打印机词典杂志和很多的衣服,自己会不会就少快乐一些?她第一次体验到,原来人真的可以活得很简单,但依然活得充实。唯一一直都在的负面感觉,就是落寞。落寞着自己流浪的日子。但感情复杂的她每每在落寞时分又会感到幸运,庆幸自己依然有一屋遮顶。

但她还得时时提防,不能让办公室的人知道她的非法存在。有一天,PS捎口讯给她,说办公室的人抓非法居民抓得很严,随时会在凌晨时分按门按户去问。她担心的几夜都不能好睡。每每听到敲门声,她就会慌得不知出门是好,还是装着睡觉是好。心惊胆跳的日子,使她觉得好无辜。明明在可爱的万津就有一间家,为什么要老远地跑来这里做非法居民受苦受惊。在家里给妈妈呵护着不是很好吗?

她也有新的问题。开学之时,大家见面寒暄时除了问近来好吗,就是你现在住在哪里。她每次都不知道要怎么回答才能简短但正确地表达自己的处境。常常,她不是支吾带过,就是花十几分钟讲长篇故事。有一次,她居然在杂货店连续遇到四位朋友,结果详解四次自己的悲惨故事。

三个星期很快的就将接近尾声,她又要开始安排自己之后的何去何从了。PS说,没办法的话,就不管屋主的话,先过去她那里住几夜。

第三回合

事情有时会巧到自己都没办法解释。在朋友从巴西回来的当天,PS接到了通知,她有房间了!于是当天,PS过来帮她把三个星期的行李搬回去。当时下着雨,她们两个在黑黑的夜里拖着行李抱着大包小包,也一路走回到安乐窝。

到了房间,她突然发现三个人住两张床其实还真的不容易。除了自己的东西不知道要放哪里之外,她突然不知道自己要怎么做要坐哪里才不会显得尴尬。当天晚上,她带着电脑到宿舍的电脑室去用,总觉得离开了房间才会消除多余感。她也想要当天晚上到电视室去睡,但PS的温柔叫唤使她乖乖地回到安乐窝,两个人挤一张床。当天晚上,她失眠了。听着风扇呼噜呼噜地转动,她不知道怎么折自己的身子,才能在不占太多位子的前提下睡一觉。

几天后她就病倒了。发烧头晕喉咙痛。也不知道是因为之前淋的雨还是睡不好抑或是心情差。PS在那个周末搬过去有她的名字的房间了。而她,暂时也有了一张完整的床位。

终于,她等的那天来了。学生事务所终于派下通告,通知所有没有房间的社团主导申请房间。她飞快地把自己的名字交上去了。而屋主也不知从何收到她的申请消息,而很快地转告了她,她想回来住,请她尽早搬走。她听了很生气屋主的出尔反尔,但又能怎样?她现在是仰人鼻息,只好听人从命。

终极回合

美丽的九月二十五号是学校假期。,当她在家里闲着查邮件时,突然接到一封邮件,让她眼泪立刻盈眶。

她有房间了。

尾声

自从九月三十号搬过来后,我在新房间已经住满一个月了。已经习惯了看起来脏脏的地板、很多猫的宿舍、烂烂的厕所,习惯搭一七九号的巴士、走十分钟的路去上课的路程、在人所不知的B7搭电梯、吃快熟面的周末、近近的夜宵中心、老老的办公室员工、偷懒的清洁工人,和要脱鞋的电视室。我喜欢房间大大的窗口,把蚊网推开后,可以享受凉凉的风;喜欢宿舍的钢琴室,在经过时只要看到里面没人,我一定会技痒地跑进去弹一回。

曾经很熟悉的南大的另一端,也不知道有多久时间没过去了。也许很不介意的,我已经把那一段记忆收进自己床底下的箱子了。我只知道,自己现在很珍惜现有的房间,和走过的一切不幸和不幸中发现的友情和幸福。

这是一段罕见的故事,很多人每次在听到我的故事之后都会张大眼睛问:“为什么这种事情都会发生?”而我,很不幸地被选上了当故事的女主角。但也因为这段悲惨故事,让我看到了很多其他学生的痛苦和忧虑,也在大大的校园里找到了暖暖的温情和关怀。谢谢忙忙碌碌帮我找房间的你、谢谢深夜陪我渡过恐惧的你、谢谢帮我扛我数不清的行李的你们、谢谢当机立断为我截车的你、谢谢提议我住你们家的你们、谢谢借我脚车的你、谢谢热烈欢迎我到新居的你们、谢谢陪我走过不开心的日子的你们。=)

房间故事已经告一段落,我会带着这一段丰富的故事和满满的感恩,继续走进新的故事。

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Saturday, October 25, 2008




Sucked into memories
Tonight is one of those random moments that just sucked you back into memories of times you thought have departed from your world for quite some time.

For tonight, the memories that was being aired were from my China Synergy Programme trip.

The Great Wall took my breathe away, just like the air quality in Beijing; the Xi'an anciencity put me into an imagination of Qin dynasty, just like how the Forbidden City made my mind ran wild about what can happen in Qing dynasty in this complicated complex. I can remember the heat, the CSP shirts that we wore day in day out, the very cheap but ultra-classy karaoke that we had in Guangzhou and Shanghai, the friends, the camera crew, the laughter, the food, the cakefight, the endless birthday celebration, the bus rides, the train rides, the flight. I creeped back to facebook, silently uploaded the unfinished pictures. I stopped at Beijing Great Wall that time. It was only Day 9 of my 17-day programme, Day 10 of my total 25-day trip. So the upload continued tonight.


So in 30th June, I departed from Malaysia, to venture on my first lone trip without pre-made friends. 

Having around 300 delegates, movement is always spectacular. We can easily fill up airports and restaurants.

Even the look of the bus was grand enough.

I was in Group 6 - turned out to be the loudest group, the group with most ideas as well as problems, with most people celebrating their birthdays during the trip!

For example, we all got a Chinese '6' tatoo on ourselves.

The trip started at Hong Kong. A shot took in Hong Kong History Museum that got me to understand HK so much better.

At Guangzhou. Having a life shocking time trying worms.

And watched great dragon dance.

And breathe-taking lion dance.

Then we booked an entire plane to fly to Xi'an.

Imagine living in a city with well-preserved city walls since 3000 years ago! It's like walking with history!

Of course, the terracotta.

Steven, a friend we made from Xi'an Jiaotong University, a host for us who was abducted by the programme a day before his exams.

Then it was Beijing! And Great Wall!!! With Melissa an AIESEC a Malaysian an ex-ASEAN scholar to RGs and RJC and now Oxford.

And witnessing how the desire to conquer great wall motivates people of all ages.

The Olympics Table-tennis stadium in Beijing University.

The Temple of Heaven - 天坛。 This is the largest stone stab with intricate cloud and mountain carvings.


Leaving our identities everywhere at corporate or government meet ups.

This was at People's Great Hall. Supposed to be a memorable moment for us going into such a great place.

But I like the historical sites better. Featuring Forbidden City. Featuring the gold vase which gold parts have been scraped off by foreign troops during their invasion to China. *history..* 



I saw 坤宁宫!A place where the empress stays!!!

Interesting: The longer the carvings are at the roof, the more important the building is.

御花园。The place where the emperor and concubines walk around.


Ice-cream suddenly turned everyone's favourite at a climate of 40'c.

I love the feel of anciencity. 

A quote from 周恩来 Museum. A quote I will use to motivate myself.

This was how I spent my birthday.

More talk on my birthday. Listening to 何振梁's talk on how he led the nation on the path to Olympics. Inspiring!

And I had my birthday celebration on the train from Beijing to Shanghai, on the same day as another group member Zhongqi.



Thanks to our birthday, the train crew had to clean 2 carriages and 2 rooms of cream.



My only punctual birthday gift from the camera crew!


Can't remember her name. But she's the tourguide head I love a lot!



And it was very quickly Shanghai. With modernity everywhere.

And then it was the last night. A dear roomie whom I will never forget - the memories and exchanges of precious thoughts for 17 days.

Me and Medi - the two NTU representatives.

The AIESECers in the trip! There were more actually, but they couldn't hear our 'Hey AIESEC' to take the pics.
And Andrew, Sherry and I spent the last few moment embracing Shanghai's peaceful morning.

So that was a very brief summary of my China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth trip. Overall, I would say this was an ultra-interesting trip. It was the first time I left the world I am familiar with and which is familiar with me, left everything and every identity behind, into a world where everyone is new, and nobody understands your history or your social identities. It's like starting a life almost afresh, being a human being you wanna be without the preconceived judgment by others based on your past. For myself, I was busy taking rest and spending time with myself, and was completely quiet for most of the trip, not voicing out opinions even when they are strong, not ra-ra-ing, not speaking up or making friends, and NO ONE asked me why I am so quiet - so different from what people will respond if I do that here in my world.

Sounds interesting and experience? You may take a look at the programme site. Disclaimer though, that whatever I just said was an OVERALL comment. There's definitely a lot more feelings and thoughts and conflicts involved that aren't apparent here.

So I flew back to Hong Kong, and erjie came the next day for another 6 days tour-around. The first thing I got her to try was the 发记's dessert!

The misty the Peak. My fourth time up there?!!

Recall my first Peak: January 2007. 


A really cool advertisment that I couldn't resist sharing.

The old memories again.

Recall January 2007.

Going loony in public is fun!

The only picture I put in just because I like it.

南苑莲池。A beautiful garden no one will expect to find in Hong Kong.

志莲净院。The serene haven in Hong Kong. Very beautifully and peaceful modern Buddhist temple. Love it.

大屿山天山大佛。The grandeur of human architecture and the power of religion.

心经简林。A place not well-known for its benefits. For the 有心人 to have peace of mind and breath-taking scenery.

凤凰山。My next hiking destination if I ever go Hong Kong again!

I love Olympics spirit.

The most unenjoyable part of the entire journey. Hot crowded Ocean Park.

But I got to see the jellyfish aquarium this time at Ocean Park! 

Arrived at Lamma Island. An island that I have categorised as my favourite Hong Kong spot now. :)

We were daring enough to venture into a quiet forest with only us, unknown trees and lotsa spiders!

But it was worth it! We saw the first windmill at Hong Kong!

King of the island. How about it? ;) 

It is this picture that got me realised that I am perhaps too tanned. These are the friendly AIESECers from Hong Kong University - friends like Fion Gary and Pinky and newly-made friends.

Reached my last stop - Macau. Erjie trying the best place for portugese egg tarts! Yummy I can still feel the taste in my mouth!

Taking the same shot as 1 year + ago.  *more nostalgia*

Recall: January 2007.

Fisherman's Wharf - a place I still love a lot.

Finally - my last stop before flying back to reality - a luxurious 3-hour spent in Macau Museum.

I just realised. Memories never fade. When I typed everything now, stories and sounds are still fresh in my mind. With this, I will move on and embrace another day. But before that, I think I should probably go sleep.

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