It's 12.30AM on the 21st of June and I should be going to bed soon (technically I AM sitting in bed...), since I have a flight at 3.55pm to return to Singapore.
It's weird. I've been in Australia for only five months, and only four on my own (my parents stayed here until the end of February) but it feels like so much longer
. There've been clubs (especially the medieval club, the queer department and the sci fi/fantasy club) and making friends and lectures and tutorials and projects and assignments and learning to live on my own and university life in general and it's just been so full
. It feels like months and months.
I've loved it, though. I love my university, and learning things and the lessons and the library and clubrooms and I really
love SCA, the medieval club. I've fought in my first rapier tournament (and was told that I was bloody fast; I lost miserably of course, as it was my first tournament and I've only been fighting for a few months, but held my own for a while against experienced fighters and they think I have skill, I just need more practice) and been to camps and slept in tents (I've been on tons of Astronomy camps but on those occasions the tents are there to hold our stuff and nobody actually SLEEPS much because we'd all rather stargaze and occasionally doze in folding chairs next to telescopes) and am training in sword-and-shield combat and danced and shot arrows at people and gotten an award and tried alcohol (I dislike wine, I love cider and mead) and stuff. Basically SCA = awesome. I'm apparently making friends with people in the local and university gay community, too. I Skype my family at least once a week. I did fairly well on most tests and assignments and the midterms, though I am really
nervous about the end-of-semester exams we just had.
On Monday, after my last exam, I went out to dinner (delicious Vietnamese) with this lesbian couple I'm good friends with, Suzie and Sam, and their friend Emilie, and then we went to Sam's place and watched queer movies (my mind has been blown, I had no idea the genre existed), and Sam lives in an area that might not be fully safe at that time of night (10pm) and plus the buses don't run late, so they felt it was safer for me and Emilie to stay the night and I crashed on her couch. That's actually the first time I've slept at a friend's house when it wasn't a huge preplanned birthday sleepover. XD And this would never
have happened in Singapore, mostly because I wouldn't have been allowed to stay out so late anyway (my sister is 26 and when she's out late my parents still call her and I text her) and also because a) the public transport system in Singapore, I have to say, is MUCH better; the one here is near useless late at night and on Sundays and b) Singapore is much safer; several times last year I only got home from work at midnight and I walked the dark streets with perfect confidence. Admittedly I didn't live in a 'dangerous' or red light district though, in either Singapore or Australia; Northbridge, where Sam lives, is generally safe enough in the day but we're told to avoid it at night.
I have a Facebook folder full of photos of my new place and new dishes I try and random things that I will copy here one of these days; carrying bags full of groceries back home via bus and pavements sucks, and I don't think anybody likes laundry and cleaning and washing up (also it's RAINING EVERY DAY since it's winter and my laundry hasn't dried in a week or more), but otherwise I love
living on my own and buying groceries and
cooking and just generally being mostly independent. I will however feel better when I have a job; hopefully next semester I will find one.
And over the past couple of days I have just not felt like packing, even though normally I enjoy it, and had to force myself. I'll be home for a month, which includes my 20th birthday and my sister's engagement ceremony (she's planning that and her wedding and everything around my holidays). And even though I really miss my friends and family and am definitely looking forward to seeing them again, I'm weirdly reluctant to leave. I'm going to miss my friends here, and I'm sad that I won't be able to attend the holiday SCA training sessions that will be held at people's houses instead of the field at uni. I'm also going to miss the relative freedom and independence I have here, though my family seems to be accepting that I'm not a baby and hopefully will not smother me when I return. (I love them a lot, especially my dad and sister, but sometimes I need space and they tend to not get that.) I just... it's hard to explain. I do miss them and want to see them again, but I'm not quite as enthusiastic as expected. Or maybe I'm just tired; I haven't been sleeping well and just had exams, which stressed me out a lot, and then socialising and basically I haven't had much time to unwind before having to pack and prepare to go home.
A couple of weeks ago I texted my sister something about being relieved to come home after a long day, by which I meant my [rented] house in Australia, and her reply sounded rather annoyed and she said she'd thought Singapore was my home, and I don't think she was too mollified by my explanation that I did feel like I had two homes now. (In the most general sense of the term 'home'; when back in Singapore I consider my paternal uncle's and grandma's house a second home in addition to the house I live in with my immediate family, but right now I'm thinking of all of it smushed up into one big concept of home.)
... I'm not sure what my point is, except that I loved my first semester at uni and away from home and family, and I'm looking forward to going back but wasn't as homesick as everyone thought I would be. Then again, everyone at home appeared to be coming up with worst-case scenarios because apparently nobody had faith in my ability to live on my own after nineteen years of being coddled. And now it's WAY past 1AM and I really should sleep, I'll have lots of cleaning and putting things in order and last-minute packing of toiletries to do tomorrow before leaving for the airport. Also this is the first time I will be on a flight without my parents around and I am notoriously absent-minded and have a terrible sense of direction, so here's to hoping I don't board the wrong plane and end up in Timbuktu! ^ I did make and print out this collage and stick it on my bedroom wall. Clockwise from top left corner, photos separated by commas: Myst/glacialphoenix + Alvie + Gena + myself (in red), Rusty the late Golden Retriever, me + my brother + my sister about nine years ago, my paternal uncle and
his the family cat + Mum + sister + me + Dad + paternal grandmother, and myself + Lakshmi.
ALSO, my housemate (the one I'm very good friends with, anyway; I live with three people) gave me an early birthday gift: Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible
! :D I've wanted a copy for ages
. It's now in my carry-on luggage alongside The Egyptian Book of the Dead
, A Dictionary of Angels (including the fallen ones)
and The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
. I'm not leaving a country for any prolonged period of time without those first two books.