Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nashville Trip with OIPS

18 Dec 2008 ~ Opry Mills Mall & Opryland Hotel

The Office of International Programs organised this trip for us who were still staying in the dorm. I was really glad to go for this trip!! Bro followed us also this time around. It was a one day trip, went to a mall to do some shopping & eat lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Bro & I bought quite a lot of Nike shoes...omg! We also visited Opryland Hotel which was really huge with indoor gardens. It is really a very nice hotel! Thank you OIPS for this fabulous trip! :)

Winter Break & Christmas Season in America~!

This is the first time that I am able to use the word 'winter break'...yea...Malaysia is summer throughout the year...hahaha!! I spent more time with Anna & Daniel's family during the past week. I had the chance to help decorate their Christmas tree, wrap presents & bake some peanut butter cookies. It was really fun!!

The 'before' & 'after' of the tree....nice huh!!

Went for lunch with their family at Top O' the River restaurant in Guntersville

Followed Daniel to his nana's house to help her with the email & helped her with some Christmas decorations....had yummy-licious burger for dinner at their house then baked cookies!

1.It has been raining for the past week
2.Went for lunch at a small chinese place
3.Visited bro's fren's (Evan) house by a man-made lake....pretty nice surroundings! usual...I'll clean up my room after exams...and switched my table's position also.
2. The cafeteria is closed....this is just one of the tom yum noodles with brocolli that I prepared.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thanksgiving in Orlando

Alrite...I'm back to continue with my updates on my Orlando trip! I have been 'chillaxing' for 2 weeks doing nothing and I know that I've gotta get this update posted before I leave for the East Coast trip next Tuesday...or else everything's gonna pile up! Luckily I found a cool photo software few days ago and it makes combining pictures much easier...I luv it!! :)
It was actually a last minute decision for me to go on this trip because Dr. Ong told me that she's bringing the NESA students there during Thanksgiving and asked if I wanted to go together. Well, initially...I was planning to stay back in Huntsville and go to Anna's house to spend Thanksgiving with American family. But if I missed this trip, I might not have the chance to travel to Orlando before I leave US. I have been to Disneyland & Universal Studios in California in 2006 but I still want to go to DisneyWorld & Universal Studios in Florida for at least once. The tickets were a bit expensive but I don't mind...haha!! Once in a lifetime wat!! :)

Epcot showcases
The trip was from Wed till Sun and my finals started on the Tues after we came back!! I did bring my notes to read during the extremely looooong (15 hours) journey but of course I failed....ended up falling asleep most of the time...ahhh!! 2nd bro was planning to come & visit me during Thanksgiving (for the 1st time since we came in Aug)...and he was lucky so he get to follow us during this trip...haha!
Island of Adventure

I'm not gonna write about the details of this entire journey coz it's gonna be toooo long-winded. In fact, bro already wrote a lottttt on his I decided not to repeat again. I'll juz post some pics...and if ya'll wanna see the bigger pics....juz click on the pic. Overall, it was quite a tiring but fun-filled trip. We spent a day in Disneyworld going to 3 parks...Epcot, Hollywood Studios & Magic Kingdom. We spent the other 2 days at Island of Adventure & Universal Studios...rode most of the thrilling rides in & took all front seats...awesomeeee!!! :) We also woke up at 6am to go for Black Friday shopping...the sales was crazy! We started our days at 8am and 'played' till 12am was quite a 'mission accomplished'....hahahaha!!! ;)

Universal Studios

Monday, December 8, 2008

Atlanta Weekend Getaway

Finally...I'm FREEEE~!! One month of winter break...time to chill and have fun...oh yeah!!! :) Hadn't had time to update my blog for the past 3 weeks...had been traveling and also had my finals last week. The reason why it always takes me longer to update my blog is because I need to combine all my pictures before uploading them. Plus, I took lotsa pics during Atlanta and Orlando far I only managed to complete the Atlanta pics. I'll talk more about the trip later. One good news to share...just checked my results for the last semester online...guess what...A's for all 4 classes....yeahhhh~!!! :)

22-23 November 2008(Sat & Sun): UGRADers Atlanta trip
I've always wanted to visit Atlanta especially after hearing my other friends who had been there describing how nice it was. Well, Atlanta is considered quite near...4 hours away...just like Penang to KL. But it's still hard to travel around coz even traveling by bus is quite expensive. Cristina was the one who organized this trip and brought 8 of us sponsored students together.

We started our journey on Saturday morning. Our international office advisors, Ms Anita and Dr Pottenger fetched us all the way there and treated us lunch at a Mexican restaurant before they head back to Huntsville. None of us had any idea where we wanted to go, but luckily our hotel was situated in downtown so we spent most of the time just walking around.

Getting ready to depart & enjoyin' lunch at Mexican restaurant.

A group of students traveling together is always more 'adventurous'. Yea...we always say that we're a bunch or 'poor' international everything needs to go on budget (haha...not really true though since we still get a good amount of monthly stipend even though everything is pretty much paid for already). Well, we'd rather walk than spending money on public transport so we were basically walking all the time for 2 days...which was a lot!! I remembered asking a hotel receptionist how long it takes to walk to the Greyhound bus terminal and she just shaked her head said " can't walk there"...then she started explaining which metro to take...haha!! We ended up walking half an hour to the bus terminal...hehe!! :p

Walking along the streets of downtown Atlanta
P.S. I'm not a fan of walking so walking non-stop for 3 hours is considered a HUGEEE achievement for me...hahaha!!

CNN Center:
CNN is located in Atlanta so I thought I should make a visit to this world-knowned news station this time around. I went for the 'Inside CNN Studio Tour' with Uyanga & Aleksandar. We were brought around the studio and saw how they actually get the news on air. I also had the chance to see how the newscaster report the was really cool to see all the advanced technology that they were using. We went there on Sunday so there wasn't many people working there. They also didn't allow us to take pictures during the tour...too bad!!! :(

"I've got the whole world in my hands..."
Watching the news and seeing what's going on in other parts of the world makes me realize how fortunate I am to live in a peaceful country and not having to worry about the necessities in life.

World of Coca Cola:
Another place that I wanted to visit in Atlanta was World of Coca Cola even though I am not really a fan of Coke. I still prefer water...haha!! Me and Uyanga got in before they were closed...phew! There were lots of exhibit about Coca Cola but I didn't really paid attention to read everything. My main focus was still taking pictures...haha!! Yes I admit...I am lazy! They had a station where we can taste different kinds of Coca Cola from 60 different countries for free! They categorized it based on different continents...Asia, Africa, Europe, North America & Latin America. It was interesting when I first started trying, but as we moved on, I felt like Fear Factor...coz I don't know how each of them tasted until I sipped it. Some tasted really weird and disgusting...ewww! I guess I still prefer the original Coca Cola...haha!! :)

World of Coca Cola...lots to see...lots to drink!!

Centennial Olympic Park:
I don't have much memory about the 1996 Olympic which was held in Atlanta. I was only 9 yrs old back then. It has been more than 10 years since the game but at least they still maintain this park as one of the tourist attractions. Our hotel was located just 2 blocks away from this park so it was convenient for us to walk here.

I found Rashid Sidek, Cheah Soon Kit & Yap Kim Hock's names!! I knew exactly which sport to look for Malaysian winner...haha!!

The park during the night...beautiful lightings around the city

Georgia Tech University:
I didn't plan to go to this university at first. Cristina, Sabina & Georges went there in the morning and came back telling us how nice the place we decided to make a trip there. It was just about 15-20 minutes walk away. The campus was indeed quite beautiful, especially the architecture of some buildings. The campus was so big that we walked for almost 2 hours and the weather was chilly!!! I left my jacket in the hotel so I was freezing...had a bad headache after that...aikss!! :(

Nice environment to study

Oh yea...forgot to mention one interesting thing that Uyanga & I encountered when we were walking around downtown on Saturday night. As usual, we were busy taking pictures (obviously we looked like tourists) and a black girl came to us and wanted to look at the photo that we just took. She was carrying a big black plastic bag and we tried to keep away from her. She sounded very friendly and introduced some interesting places for us to visit and wanted to bring us to Underground Atlanta. Underground Atlanta used to be a tourist attraction but now it is filled with ghettos and beggars. Of course we didn't want to go so she finally asked if we can spare her some money. She said that she's 16 yrs old and was raped few months ago and is now pregnant and haven't ate for few days. It's sad coz there's a lot of homeless people in Atlanta and I pity this girl for what she has to go through at this age.

As I mentioned earlier, we did quite a great deal of walking during the trip. We walked to the bus terminal to get our tickets on Sunday morning at 9am. The streets of Atlanta are usually busy but not on Sunday morning. The streets were almost deserted and all we saw was some homeless people. We all encountered some gethos yesterday so it was kinda scary to walk on the quiet streets, luckily there were 8 of us walking together so not too bad. Usually, we only visit tourist attractions when we travel but this time, it is really an eye-opening experience to see the 'other' side of Atlanta. No matter how developed a place is, there's certainly still a portion of people who's left behind. If given a choice, nobody wants to live a life like this or become gangsters, but the society is imperfect.

The 'other' side of Atlanta

Night view of Atlanta from Westin Hotel:
Westin is one of the tallest building in downtown Atlanta. Of course, we can't affort to stay there but Emil & Jose managed to find a way to go to the top floor which was their revolving restaurant. After dinner at a chinese restaurant, we 'sneaked' into the hotel and got to the top floor. I was amazed by the picturesque night view from the top!! The whole city was lit up and it looked completely different from the ground. That was totally awesome...what a good way to end our trip!!

Breathtaking night view from the top of Westin Hotel...awesome!! :)

This was the first time 8 of us traveled together on an overnight trip. It was tiring and 'adventurous', but overall, I enjoyed the entire experience. I was a bit dissapointed though coz I was expecting a bit more from Atlanta. Maybe it used to be nicer in the past especially right after the Olympic, but its glory seems to be fading now.

Guys...I enjoyed the time spent with ya'll!! Hope we'll have chance to travel together again!

Earlier on, we had an international pot luck party and I also attended a Thanksgiving dinner organised by the baptist student center. Some of the 1 semester sponsored students have already left. We have spent lots of time together these 4 months and I'll remember all the memories that we had together. We might not meet each other again but no matter how far apart we are, I hope that we'll still keep in touch! All the best & take care guys!!

There's still a lot for me to blog about for my Orlando trip during Thanksgiving break. Haha...I'm running behind! But I should have time since I am quite free now. There's some changes to my winter break plan coz the ski trip was cancelled. So we'll be flying up to New York on the 23rd and meet up with our parents for the 8-days East Coast tour then stay back in New York to countdown for 2009!! Will then walk around Baltimore for 2 days then come back to Huntsville on 3rd of January. Spring semester will start on Jan 5. I've already registered for my classes, will be taking Advanced Auditing, Competitive Strategy, Computer Application in Business, Music Technology and Guitar.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


It's mom's birthday today!! Last year, mom & dad went to China during her birthday so we celebrated after she came back. This year, both of us are in the states so can't celebrate it with her. At least we can still use internet to send our wishes...hehe!! :)

I remember when I first came over, mom was worried that I don't have enough money to use here so she wanted to send me money even though I said that I had more than enough coz I don't really spend much. Of course, I stopped her from doing so. Whenever I tell my friend about this, they'll say that my parents are rich and I should just take it. Well, we're not rich...juz that mom would rather spend less on herself and spend it on us instead. It has always been this way since young. That's why I always try to achieve in everything I do so that I can make my them proud. And I'm glad that I can help them save money on my education by getting full scholarship for college and also getting this scholarship to come over here....haha!! :)
I was looking through the photos on my external and realized that I haven't posted anything about our Phuket trip since May! Here are some of our happy family photos...thanks mom & dad for giving us such a great family!! :) Looking forward to see y'all this winter break!!

I love my family!!!
(Aiya...big bro missing in these pics!)

Seafood dinner during dad's birthday few days before flying to US

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Life's a journey with new experiences...

Yeah...I'm finally updating my blog again! :) The past 3 weekends had been busy & lots to update all at once. I'm happy that everything has been going very well since I came here and I'm enjoyed every opportunity to learn & experience different things every day!!

This was my first time ever celebrating Halloween so it was definitely a brand new experience! It was fun to see how people celebrate it over here...decorating their houses with pumpkins & other 'scary' stuffs, carve pumpkins and most importantly dress up for Halloween parties!! My first Halloween experience was absolutely awesome coz I went to a pumpkin carving party and 2 Halloween parties...all in Birmingham! Haha...thanks to Daniel & Anna for being such good American least I have the chance to hang out with more Americans...haha!! :p

Nice Halloween decorations!!!

25 Oct 2008 (Sat): Pumpkin Carving Party @ Erin's House
Anna, Sabina, Cristina and I went down to Birmingham for this pumpkin carving party. It was funny coz we spent bout 30 minutes driving around juz to buy 2 huge pumpkins...haha!! It was really fun carving the pumpkin with Anna & Daniel. I've never carved a pumpkin before so they had to explain to me step by step what we need to do. It wasn't hard...juz takes time...but I like it was really interesting for me!! And we had quite a complicated design...well...we 'ruined' it a bit...but overall it was very niceeee!!! Not bad for a first timer...hahaha!! :)

Our pumpkin was sooo AWESOME...luv it!!

31 Oct & 1 Nov 2008 (Fri & Sat): Halloween Parties @ Birmingham

Daniel invited me to their house party and also another party at his friend's house. It was very nice of him to come all the way here to fetch me to and fro Birmingham....really appreciate it!! I met lotsa new 'american' friends in both parties...most of them PHD students in UAB. Both parties were fun coz everyone was chatting, eating, drinking & playing games...definitely better than the loud music in the frat parties...haha!! :p

Halloween Party @ The 'Man-sion'
I dressed up as japanese school i look like??

Wondering what it's like in american parties?
Eat, chat, watch football, play beer pong & flip cups and playing with kids (my favorite)...hahaha!!


6 Nov 2008 (Thurs): Homecoming Bonfire

7 Nov 2008 (Fri): TEA Conference @ Holiday Inn, Huntsville
The international office gave us the opportunity to help out in this event and claim our communitey service hours. But since I've already completed my 10 hours for this semester, I juz volunteered to help out coz I felt that it would be a good experience to get involved in something different. I was there from 7.30am till 5.30pm...helping whenever they need was quite an easy task and I really enjoyed the experience being in the 'Blue Team'.

Glad to be part of the 'Blue Team'!!

We were the 'escorts' to the Early Works Museum

But we were busy taking pictures instead of escorting...oops!! :p

Finally some pictures of downtown Huntsville
The trees are soooo beautiful!!! I love Autumn!!

7 Nov 2008 (Fri): UAH Ice Hockey Game
We went to the Von Braun Center to watch the hockey game between UAH and Bemidji State. It was my first time watching an ice hockey game so I was very excited about it!! We were sitting near some fun supporters so it made the game even more interesting coz we were cheering for UAH all the time. We also saw Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn at the game coz they were there to cheer for their son. It was a good game and we won 4:2...woohoo!! and white are the colors for UAH...Go Chargers!!!

Go Chargers!!!

8 Nov 2008 (Sat): Chinese Lantern Festival @ Grissom High School
Well...mid-autumn festival is over for quite some time already...but this event was delayed till last weekend. I volunteered to help in this event coz I really wanted to attend since I didn't get to celebrate it back home. Everything was so familiar to me...people, language, food & performances...felt like back home!! I was also helping Uyanga as her 'assistant' coz she had 2 performances...and she won first prize for her Mongolian dance...congrats!!

The fall semester is coming to an end and I've finished all my tests...still have quiz & project due nex week. Then it's Thanksgiving break and final exam! So far, I'm doing good in all my classes...still getting A's...oh yeah!! ;)

Winter break is gonna be awesome coz bro & I will be travelling around. We'll start with ski trip at West Virginia...after that maybe Baltimore & Maryland....then join the 8 days' East Coast tour from 24th-31st Dec (New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Niagara Falls, Boston, Rhode Island & New Jersey)....will be spending Christmas & New Year in New York...woohoo!!! :) And the best thing is.....mum & dad will be coming over to join us for the 8 days' tour....AWESOME!!! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busy or Lazy??

I know i know i know....."Chattanooga Weekend" have been 'resting' there for tooooo long already...haha...wondering why I took so long to update?? Ok ok...I'm sorry lo...I admit...this time itz my fault...oops! :p I have been free from tests for the past 3 can't use 'busy' as excuse this time...hehe!! The only word I can use is....LAZY...hahahaha!!! Be prepared...this post is pretty long oo!!

I have been watching a lot of shows online lately...even more than what I watched back home!!! 篮球火,娱乐百分百,超级星光大道4, 康熙来了,女人我最大,学校学不到的事,Gossip Girl, The Hills...OMG!!! I'm really crazy...Chinese, English, Japanese...seems like too much huh!! My favorite is still Hot Shot...too bad only one episode per week...wait till neck long lar!! Even though WuChun doesn't appear much, it was still nice watching Jerry & Show cause they always make me laugh!! Speaking about WuChun....Fahrenheit went to Malaysia to promote their concert last Friday!!! Aarghhh...I missed it!!! If I was in Malaysia, I'll definitely try to call-in and win the chance to meet them in person....too bad!!! :(

Fahrenheit Concert Promo Tour in Malaysia...I wanna see WuChun in person!!

I'm chillin' too much probably because studying here is not as stressful as 'sky & land'...really!! Sorry fellow coursemates in AFA 2...I don't mean to brag of show off...that's the truth!! I year is my turn to by that time itz ur turn to 'show off'...hahaha!!! :p The system here makes studying easier mainly because we'll have few tests during the semester and whatever covered in the tests will not be asked again in the next tests or final exam...maybe that's the reason why I'm having short-term memory nowadays...hahaha!! Before coming here, I thought college exam was already good enough...just remember whatever learned during the semester then can forget after final compared to high school where we had to remember what we've studied for 2 or 3 years!! Besides, some classes allow students to request for tests to be pushed huh!! Try doing the same thing in TARC...the lecturers '睬你都傻'...haha!!

My daily routine here has been quite systematic: Wake up at about 8.30am...turn on computer...take shower...then sit in front of my up few web pages (watch the stock market...check email & facebook) or talk with family & friends...then go to cafeteria for lunch....come back continue dinner...then continue online again till I go to bed only shut down my computer. Of course, I always attend all my classes and also study for tests & quizzes...I still remember my priorities here...haha!! I've received my results for 2nd tests: Accounting-90; Japanese-122/125. I'm far so good!! ;)

The weather here is finally getting chilly for the past few days....about 22 degrees (celcius) during the day and 5 degrees at night. Everyone is starting to wear long sleeve and jacket. I like the cold weather but sometimes I'll feel too cold...guess I'm still not used to it yet. It is also getting dark earlier starts getting dark at 6.30pm (like 8pm in M'sia) me a false impression that it's already late. Our suite has been very quiet nowadays...mainly because Cristina is at her bf's place most of the time, Anna went home almost everyday last week & as usual Danielle not around most of the time....I'm home alone!!! Lonely lar....luckily still got someone to chat with me on messenger! :) Internet & messenger is awesome!!!

Alright...enough crap...time to share about some interesting things that I've been up to lately!!

16 Oct 2008 (Thurs): ISH Event
I heard about this community service opportunity from Dr. Ong, who is also chairing this event. She is in-charge of the NESA group so supposingly, I don't usually join them in their activities. But coz she is also she asked if I would like to help out in that event (Malaysian 'take care' of each other ma)...hehe!! It sounded very interesting so I decided to join them and skipped one class. The event is called 'Culture of the Chamber' and is organized by the International Society of Huntsville. It was a social event where people from different countries get together for dinner and get to know each other.

All of us get to dress nice for this community service and our tasks were pretty simple. We helped to set up the venue, arranged the food, registered & welcomed the guests and after that get to eat and socialize with the huh!! :) It was interesting to talk to people from different countries...including some locals...and I also met 2 Singaporean & Malaysian was nice talking about things back home! I enjoyed this experience very much and got to know the others better...really appreciate this opportunity! Thanks Dr Ong!! :)

Everyone looked very nice!!

10-11 Oct 2008 (Fri & Sat): Gal's Weekend Getaway

We had 4-days' weekend for fall break. Anna was very nice and offered to bring us to her high school football game, overnight at her house then go to her grandpa's farm the next day. Anna used her mum's SUV to fetch Cristina, Sabina, Uyanga & me to her house on Friday evening. Their house is very nice and they have hugeeeee compound...almost the size of my primary school field..haha!! Her mum, Donna, prepared yummi-licious meatball spaghetti & 'burnt' bread for dinner....yum yum!!

We then went to Anna's high school (New Hope High School) to watch (American) football. It was my first time watching a football game live so I was quite excited about it. But since we don't really know much about how the game goes, we ended up focusing more on the talking, and watching the cheerleaders and band!! Anna was excited coz it was the 1st time going back to her high school after graduating...I felt the same when I went back to my high school for the 1st time! Watching the bands also brought back lotsa memories that I had when I was in the band during high school.

We went to her grandpa's farm the next day. It was a new experience for me coz I've never been to a farm before! I'm a city kid...haha!! Her grandpa had 2 big dogs, which kinda scares me coz they are almost as tall as I am! We saw horses, donkey, cows, chicken and lama. I felt like I was in the zoo...hehe!! I got to ride on the horse and it was awesome!!

It was indeed an interesting fall break for us....thanks Anna for the hospitality!! I'm really happy to have you as my roommate!!! ;)

I like this place....tranquil and relaxing!!

Nice house!! I realised that the mirror they had beside the door (left bottom pic) is exactly similar to the one in our house!!!! What a coincidence!!! America & Malaysia...same furniture...unbelievable!!!

New Hope High School football game

Scenery along the way and nice houses in Hampton Cove

Visiting the farm....very interesting!!

Enjoyed hanging out with ya'll...

9 Oct 2008 (Thurs): Community Service

It was fall break so I decided to spend some time doing some community service. We are supposed to complete 10 hours of community service per semester. It was my first time involving in a community service here in US. We went to the Huntsville Downtown Rescue Mission to help them coz they juz moved to a new place. Only 4 of us went that day so it was kinda boring. We spent most of the time moving donated items and organizing them. It wasn't an easy task so we were all worned out at the end of the day. But anyway, I have nothing to complain....coz after all we're doing community service...I'm happy as long as I can contribute some effort to help others live a better life!!! :)

Quote to share: "“Do good things whenever the opportunity comes. When the opportunity is gone, try as we may but it might be too late.”

First Community Service!