International students dinner

We sat together around the table,
we tasted food from different countries,
we learned recipes from each another,
we shared stories and
we made jokes about our studio tutor…

It was the dinner among the Erasmus [exchange programme] students.


from the left [clockwise] – tomas (czech), annelien (belgium), krzysztof (poland), martyna (poland), flora/suangyee (malaysia), gloria (spain), alex (malaysia), peifun (malaysia), simon (poland), michal (poland), xevi (spain)
+
puisan –
not in the photo, photographer (malaysia)

and one of the jokes from the spanish:
“i think belgians are good in languages. they learn quite fast.”

“yah, because they don’t need to study much for their geography.”
-because belgium is a small country.

Can you see where Belgium is?

Continued party in the bar after dinner..

Crazy moments…

Beauty of the day – forever friends

A friendship card from Malaysia:


She is my true friend, a person whom we always share gossips and jokes, listen to each other’s stories and support each other during the sad moments. I remember that those days we took LRT together to the tuition centre, chilled at Petaling Street before and after classes (with Wai Hoon), “yam cha”, and went shopping.

photo back in form 5

Lala_Gurl,

Our friendship will keep growing even when we are far apart. No matter where we are, you are always a friend I feel always close to. Muaks…
Love always too,

Flora_Gurl

Suangyee’s adventure

“Maybe you should apply for the student exchange programme to Belgium.”

And therefore here it goes…

It has already been more than a month since I arrived in Ghent; a fantastic city in Belgium.

The first two weeks life was hectic. Perhaps I should say that the hectic life began on the day I moved out from my university accommodation in Glasgow.

It was all about packing, packing and packing…

First packing was when I had to shift all my stuffs from my room in student residence flat to Tristyn’s place.
(A token of gratitude for Tristyn in favour of letting me to stay in her room during my homeless period. Cheers!)

A day before we flew, again, we had to move all our stuffs to Pei Ling’s place to sort the things that would be brought over and remain in Glasgow. I brought approximately 40kgs luggage to UK and due to the low cost airline policy, I was only allowed to bring maximum 22kgs luggage to Belgium. It was really a challenge to pack. And therefore we compacted the unimportant stuffs but desperate to bring together with Alex’s desktop pc into parcel boxes.

The mess

After staying awake for the whole night to pack, we had breakfast with Angeline and then rushed to the train station.

Angeline came to send us off

In the train to the airport

The plane did not land in Charleroi Airport in Belgium but Lille Airport in France. And the blurred I did not realize until we step into the terminal. Initially, I did not understand when they made the announcement that there would be a bus to fetch us in 15 minutes due to the bad weather because what I saw was the bright sky.

while waiting for the free shuttle bus to Charleroi Airport

From Charleroi, we had to get another bus to the Brussels train station for the train to Ghent.

while waiting in the airport

The cookies was all what we had during the long journey

After all the buses and train, we finally reached our destination.


gent train station -so excited!!

in the tram

Most shops were already closed at the time we reached and we had our first dinner in a Turkish pizza shop. It was odd for us to order because the menu was in Dutch and we had to rely on the images.

To settle my life in Ghent was not as easy as the time I arrived in Glasgow. We were clueless about everything. There was neither pre-arranged accommodation nor friends who are familiar with the place. It was not the peak period for students to find accommodation as it was already mid of the study year. Most landlords were reluctant to offer 5-6 months rental. And if we could find one, it was either expensive or not furnished.

We were also not familiar with the language used; most signboards, menus, products brief, posters and advertisements are in Dutch.

It seems more like we were in an adventure trip; leading a nomad life, going thru obstacles and challenges after another.

cycling around the city centre to look for new home

Nevertheless, we managed to get a two bedroom flat with a rooftop terrace. But we were only allowed to move in on the 1st of March which means that we had to stay in the hostel for another two weeks. During this period, the meals we had were pizzas, breads, burgers and fries.

The adventure was more challenging when the hostel accommodation was fully booked during the weekends. Therefore we had to move to bed & breakfast hotel during the weekends and back to hostel during weekdays.

world map at the hostel lounge

B&B hotel room

And for the following weekends, we resided at Maarteen’s house in Steenhuffel and made a day trip in Brussels.

Maarteen’s house

After nomad-ing for two weeks, we finally got the keys for our new flat. It took about a week to make the house a home -cleaning up, getting the household items and stocking up on groceries.

first day at new home

After all, the difficult time is worth it to stay in such a beautiful city.

New home, new kitchen, new living room, new room

ps. we are now experts in packing and moving

Easter snow

As a typical Malaysian, it is a must to blog when this happened..

I was in London yesterday and it was snowing there. Someone told me that if it snows in London, the weather must has gone crazy and it will be snowing everywhere in UK.

It is spring yet it snowed. I am now back in Ghent and it snowed here too, the heaviest since I was here. It was not about the excitement to see snow but to feel its subtleness. It will always be wonderful to go thru with someone special and I am not sure if I have found one; holding each other and walking together under it.


Our roof top terrace


It was not as bright as seen in the photo
-set with high ISO for photo without flash.


Mini snowman without its eyes and nose..

Anyway, the snow was not heavy and did not last long enough to settle on the ground..

Boxes

It happened at 1310…

I was uncertain in my directions.

I was unsure for my next activities.

I left home rather early in the morning to get the visa application brief from the university student service. The social worker directed me to another place which was almost at the edge of the city centre.

All errands were done by 1145 and after that I was totally clueless in deciding my next destination. For a moment, I lost my sense in making decisions, yet I did not want to go home. I was tempted to visit the library, shopping mall, art gallery and museum but they all seem to be far away from one another although the size of Ghent city centre is in small scale. There was a place I wanted to stay but it does not appear to be any more suitable.

The indecisive I ended in a household deco shop. Nonetheless, my mood changed immediately after I saw these…

And of course, I am now the owner.

I swear that I have really tried to resist the temptation from spending. I do not need them. But self indulgence is necessary to brighten up my day, especially in the gloomy, cloudy and cold weather.


I possess not only one, but three.


It is now placed on my desk, beside the mood light, near the clip light and next to my bed.

I am always fascinated with boxes. I remember telling someone that I do not mind getting just box as my birthday present, but make sure that it has to be a beautiful one.

And presents with attractive boxes tied with ribbons always earn more credits.

More boxes..


My name is engraved on the plate. It is my birthday box.

Sometimes I have the deep thought but this is how simple things can simply cheer me.
I am feeling delighted, happy and joyful again..

Chinese New Year festivities

I was loaded with these questions before, during and after the Chinese New Year.


What happened in Glasgow during the Chinese New Year?
Nothing.

How did/are you celebrate(ing) Chinese New Year?
Eat!!! Eat!!! and Eat!!!

So, no “angpau” for you?
Yes, no “angpau”… mail it to me!!!
I have not even seen or touched a red packet this year.


Although there was no red packet, no firecracker and no lion dance, we still managed to create wonderful unforgettable Chinese New Year moments. Last year, I spent my Chinese New Year with my dad and sister in Shanghai and few cities in China –the outcome of a sudden decision from dad to make travel plans. Hence, it was a big distinction in the celebration atmosphere between the Boar and Rat year -from a place where was crowded by loads of Chinese with firecrackers blast and beautiful fireworks display to a place where I might not even realise the arrival of Chinese New Year.

Nonetheless, we had great and fantastic time.

Chinese New Year’s eve -reunion dinner

Look at the amount of food we had on the table. The reunion dinner was not just among us, but also the participation of few students from other countries. And we prepared the food on our own, no catering from Chinese restaurants.

First day of Chinese New Year – vegetarian steamboat

It was also the first steamboat I had in UK.

Second day of Chinese New Year -Another feast

Gambling, the typical Chinese tradition is certainly a must do. But, it was just card games, no money involved -couldn’t afford to gamble in pound.
Third day of Chinese New Year -the day that Tristyn and Nicholas were leaving to Portugal for the architecture workshop. Spent my dawn preparing three big dishes of fried rice and boiling the chinese herbal soup..

Family portrait -Friends, who are also the family when studying abroad

missing you, tris.

Fourth day of Chinese New Year -Sushi at Pei Ling’s new apartment. It was the efforts from Chef Peifun and Chef Puisan with the assistance of Peiling to make such beautiful sushis. And of course they were delicious too.

Fifth day of Chinese New Year -dinner as well as farewell at the Malaysian pharmacist students’ flat
Sixth day of Chinese New Year – which was also the last night in UK. Had “yeeshang” which was supposed to be on the seventh. Anyway, the time we “lou shang”-ed was Malaysia’s seventh due to the time zone difference. Therefore it is still counted..

It is still the Rat year. Therefore it is not an outdated post.