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Yang Safia On Thursday, February 24, 2011
What takes a bunch of students...

...and a fire truck out in the cold?

The annual toga party.

This event is one of the interesting things I've encountered ever since coming to Otago. I'm not very sure whether this is just an Otago thing but I've heard that some universities in US do have their own toga party. I don't know why it must be a toga party and not a renaissance party (don't know the significance) but just so you know, it's crazy wild.

Jie Ning told me that it's normal that you see the fire truck come and the party goers have to evacuate the place because "somebody" accidentally pulled the fire alarm. Jie also pointed out that the firemen who usually come to these parties are unusually young and hot. Apparently they're hoping to score with some college girls. Haha.

Another shot of students outside Unicol

Shot of Ms Choong. We were on our way to the gym. ;p

Last Thursday was the annual Clubs Day where student clubs open booths for new members to sign up. As expected OMSA has its own. I came at 10AM (I was soo tired because Alia and I stayed up till 4AM watching Gossip Girl) and helped out.

Chua manning the booth, acting so secretary-like. :D (LOL at Bock's face!)

The line of people who wanted to sign up for OMSA is crazzy!

My favourite ladies who decided to hang out with me at the booth

All in all it was a great first week back in Dunedin. Despite the earthquake, everything's going really well.

Classes start tomorrow. :(

Yang Safia On Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Picture taken from Getty Images

In light of today's Christchurch earthquake, I will tell you what happened from my point of view. Now I know I'm in Dunedin but we felt it here. In fact I've come to the conclusion that we'll feel anything that happens in Christchurch. I'm not hurt and my story won't be that exciting but this post is mainly for my family and friends in Malaysia; to show that I'm okay.

As you all know, today's earthquake wasn't as strong as the 7.1 last year but this one actually caused a lot of deaths. This is because it was during rush hour and a lot of people are out and about at the city centre or working in their offices.

According to the news the earthquake happened around 10AM-1PM New Zealand time. I was up by 10AM to get ready to run some errands and I'm pretty sure that the tremor had not hit Dunedin at the time. I was alone at home since Naomi was out to class while Alia was running some errands. Around 11AM I was ready to go to Jie Ning's when both of my friends came back from whatever they did in town.

The moment the tremor hit Dunedin, Jie Ning and I...didn't feel anything. On the other hand, Alia who was taking a nap in my room ran down stairs when the bed shook violently. She went to see whether Naomi was okay. She...didn't feel anything.

Jie Ning and I were only aware of the earthquake when a friend stopped us on the street and asked whether we felt the tremor. I thought it wasn't that serious because it probably one of those common quakes that Dunedin and Christchurch always get. It was only until I got to K-Mart when I heard some staff were crying and panicking. At that time, it was about 12-ish.

Later that day I found out that 65 people were killed during the earthquake. And tonight, my house is buzzing with Alia and Naomi trying to reach out and help the victims through organizing charity events and opening donation boxes.

If you happen to be in Dunedin or a student of Otago Uni, OMSA is having a donation box during Clubs Day this Thursday at Clubs and Socs. Also part of your membership fee will be taken for the donation.

Please support us!

Yang Safia On Sunday, February 20, 2011
My work station as of now. The room is super messy! So many things to be unpacked!

Hello! I'm safely back in Dunedin now and all I can is...I hate flying. It's official, I just hate being on a plane. I'm all for travelling but 14 hours on a plane is just crazy. I got over my jet lag already so it's all good.

Today I spent the whole day doing errands; course approval (done!! wahh, so lega already), buy necessities, help alia at house hunting and shopping for the house. After all of that, both us went straight to bed and work off the jet lag. Now I'm all hyper and perky! HUZZAH!

Anyways, this is just a quickie to show you that I'm fine and back to Otago!

PS: I forgot how quiet Dunedin is. It's deafening.
Yang Safia On Thursday, February 17, 2011
In yo face!

This post will be laden with pictures from what's been happening for the past two weeks.

There was one Wednesday where I went to the family's condo to do a spring cleaning with my sister and just before we leave I started snapping pictures of Ginger. Quite random.

Isn't he cuuuuuuuute?

Ehem. Ok.

Then Aya (my sister) and I were off to condo to spend a night there and just clean the whole place up. Apparently the family hasn't been there for quite awhile. And what happens? The place got dirty and they HAD to wait their daughter come back from New Zealand so they could have someone commence the operation.

Here are some shots.

Blankets in the hallway. They needed to be washed.

The place got really dusty so Aya has to wear this mask thingy. She's allergic to dust. (=_=)

After the clean up, the whole family came over and we stayed there for the rest of the weekend, busy stuffing ourselves.

Fast forward to last week's Friday, the girl friends came over just to hang out. I don't think I've said this in any of the previous posts but Shira has been MIA throughout the CNY holidays. Apparently she went on a secret vacation with her parents to Los Angeles.

Shaza and I really thought by some sort of conspiracy (the idea was fed through our mothers) that Shira went back to her mom's home town to get married. Now that I think about it, it was really really stupid. But you can't really blame us since most of our friends are posting news about sudden engagements and marriages on Facebook.

So she came bearing gifts from LA. What did she get for us?

Victoria Secrets briefs.

I see a trend right here. We've been giving each other underwear since last year. Last time, I got Shaza and Shira thongs for their 19th birthdays. :P

The next day I went out with Syafiqah (aka Syaffy) and Shira to Pyramid, just to hang out before I leave. We did a lot of random things and it was nice to see the two finally get together at one place for once. We all are practically neighbours but get to meet once a year. Sad, I know.

Syaffy is a med student so she doesn't get to go out much. She was fascinated watching the lion dance at Subang Parade. So weird la this girl! Haha!

This is us in my car on the way back to Shah Alam. There's a video of us singing along to Like a G6 and Heartbeat. Quite dangerous and hilarious. The video should be up soon.

On Sunday my parents took me to Antara Dahan, a piece of land my family owned. I haven't been there for years and it looked really good. Too bad I didn't take any pictures. I was a bit stressed out with being there. I love how it looked and all but nature + Yang is not really a good combination. At this point, I'm a city girl all the way.

Then on Monday, my mom wanted to spend a whole day with me seeing we didn't manage to have a mother-daughter time all summer. We went to Empire Gallery Mall and spent the whole day. It was crazy. (=_=)

My sister, Ina

My brother refused to get his picture taken. This is the best I could do. Damn boy kept running away!

Then on Wednesday after spending the whole day at a spa (people just get nicer to you when you're about to leave, don't they? They even make you go to a spa to chill before leaving.) I went to meet up with the usuals + Divanesha and Aysha. We ate at Noodle Station and afterwards to Secret Recipe for some cake. There goes my supermodel lunch!

Diva and Sara

My lunch.

Ms Aysha Khan

I have a better version of this picture but this is too weird looking! Seriously I was sooo oily from the massage. It was....yucky.

A candid picture from Secret Recipe. Love Sara's and Aysha's expressions!

I don't know why we created a lot of chaos wherever we go but that's us. We didn't actually eat cake at Secret Recipe due to some bizarre lie Diva told to a friend he bumped into. So went to Big Apple Donuts instead. And we caused more chaos there too. (=_=)

Now you must be wondering why the hell I put up a big catch up post like this? And why I've been MIA for so long? Okay get ready for this honest-to-God new Asus laptop had a corrupted driver and it was at the repair for 3 freaking weeks. That's why the blog updates is so so slow.

Just to get the word out, DO NOT BUY ASUS PRODUCTS! THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS BAD AND I FIND THE MODEL THAT I BOUGHT IS RIDICULOUSLY STUPID. What kind of laptop puts its speakers near the bottom to the point the table surface is blocking it? What kind of laptop that crashes less than a month after buying? What kind of laptop that doesn't allow you to use a headset?

God at one point I feel like killing myself for agreeing to buy it in the first place!

Sheesh. Enough with the rant because I need to start packing since my flight back to New Zealand is tonight. Goodbye Malaysia. See you in 9 months.

Yang Safia On Thursday, February 10, 2011

This will be the last instalment of my Guide to Studying Overseas. Now that I've reached this point, I'm not sure what to write in this segment. I thought about it and figured it'll be a good idea if I make this a summarized version of the whole guide. Important tips that I can't help but emphasized throughout this guide and maybe I'll add a few new ones too.

1. Go Travelling

This seems obvious enough but I do know people who afraid to travel in the new country. There are a lot of reasons to this; anxiety, financial, etc but do grab the opportunity at hand. Travelling will help you with a variety of things: ease your anxiety, take your mind off your homesickness, you will feel more comfortable with the new country, broaden your knowledge, etc. Like I always say, an open mind is a well travelled one.

2. Do Study Smart.

The first semester is going to be hard. Don't pressure yourself (it's not like you're stupid or anything) because this is completely normal. You see, the studying tactics that they use at the new country can be different from what you're used to back home. Especially if you're fresh out of high school and decides to do your foundation studies overseas. The trick is to give yourself time to assimilate to the new system and also, learn on how they do things there. Try to go to the library and learn on the um, system they have there (I really don't know what it's called. Dewy System or something??) so that you can easily get your notes.

3. Make a LOT of friends.

My father always say that university is the best place to create a lot of network. Especially if you're studying overseas. You're bound to meet a lot of people from different racial backgrounds and countries and this will serve as a great opportunity in the future. Besides, it'll make it easier for you to travel during summer hols or after graduation! :D

Besides, your friends are now your new family so do make a lot of friends!

Although do learn to choose good ones. :)

4. Travel Light.

Man, I just can't emphasize this enough. Don't make the mistake that I did and be smart when it comes to packing. If you're a girl, suppress those urges to bring that backup dress that you think you'll need but you know you're not going to wear it but you just want to be safe in case the occasion rises. STOP IT!

5. That feeling is temporary.

Like I said in a post that I dedicated to battling homesickness; the reality is temporary. Give yourself time and the key is patience.

6. Don't leave it last minute!

I don't know why this is number six but university and visa paperwork can be hell and a lot so plan your time wisely. It is super unwise to leave it to the last minute because that's when you tend to make mistakes.

7. Flat drama is not good drama.

Be nice to your new flatmates and everything will go well. Key: Communication. If all else fails, move out or wait till your contract ends.

8. Have fun!

Seriously, can you actually believe you're studying overseas? You're doing something that most people your age can only dream of! ENJOY THE RIDE!!

Alright folks, that's the end of my Guide to Studying Overseas. I hope you find these posts helpful! :)