Friday, January 27, 2012

26 Jan The day I was born. :D


Thanks for those who spent time with my on my birthday, thanks for the company. :D

Thanks to my two bros for the yummy cake!

Thanks to my host family for the wonderful present too!

It may be a simple birthday this year, but I enjoyed it.

<3, Roxanne.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Arrival of the Dragon

The distant sound of fireworks heard from where I sat in the middle of my living room indicated the arrival of the dragon year. The festival that we have all been waiting for has is finally here!

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR ALL! It's the first day of Chinese new year today, I hope that everyone managed to fill their pocket with many red packets. Don't think you have collected enough, get some rest and we shall get back to 'work'(you know wad I mean) first thing in the morning. :D

Anyway, first day of Chinese new year went quite well for me and my family. We manage to do more visiting this year; seven houses on the first day. It's a broken record!

Well, I think it's going to be better since we decided to do something different for Chinese new year this year. My family and I planned to go for a day holiday as It's has been years since we have all been back for CNY(Chinese new year). So, a relax weekend it is!

Okay, I'm going to end my post for now and also end my day with a xXx:The Next Level movie on AXN!

Toddles people!

May you have a blessed dragon year ahead! I wish you good health, wealth, success and love in the year 2012! :D

Enjoy the rest of your CNY holiday! :)

Love, Roxanne.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A family in three.

This should be my first post on my future undertakings but if you have been following me on twitter(@rxannelow) or stalking me on Facebook(Roxanne Low), you would have gotten the news that I will be leaving for Germany on a Student Exchange program.

Yeap! I'm the lucky one out of eight students from Malaysia that will be heading for Germany for a year in the second month of 2012.

Since we will be going away for not one week or one month but one year, we have to make sure we are all prepared for our journey to the west! AFS Malaysia organized a Pre-departure Orientation Camp for all of us.

All 34 excited participants (that includes the rest going to Switzerland, France, Argentina, Austria, NewZealand and Japan) turned up at Hotel Maluri last weekend where the camp is held. Many of us went there without knowing anyone else but themselves, and all we knew is that we were going to be given a briefing about our departure. For me, I think that was convincing enough because at least I was going to get some answers to the endless questions in my head.

Before the camp, the only things that was in my head is; When am I going to leave for Germany? Has a family volunteered to host me yet? How many pair of clothes do I have to bring? How am I going to pack my whole room into my suitcase? What school am I going to attend? Are German people friendly?

The orientation camp started off with a speech from Kak Atty and Mr. Lokman for the parents briefing. Mr. Lokman really impressed the crowd with his inspirational and encouraging speech.

He explained to us how AFS started with this group of ambulance drivers on service during the world war who experienced living with other races and understanding their culture differences. They then came up with an idea to involve students in this student exchange program. AFS promotes global unity through people to people intercultural exchange participation. Through this experience being on program,  we hope that people from all over the world can achieve intercultural understanding and bring peace to the world.

I got interested in this program because of the stories my cousin sister brought back with her when she returned from her student exchange program to New Zealand. I have also heard many wonderful stories from my friends who are returnees from their programs. At the beginning of this year when the application was open, I told myself that I wasn't going to miss this opportunity to apply for it. I didn't bother about the whole trouble of filling up the application forms and all, it was only the experience I could think of.

If I got selected, though it will be a tough challenge going out all on my own but it will be a great learning experience for me. I would be learning how to come out of my comfort zone to adapt to a new foreign environment, learn a new language, accept cultures of others, and attend a different school! To me, that is something really adventurous and exciting! Sometimes it'll still send shivers down my spine when I think about the scary part, but this the only chance that I will be brave and explore the real world! So, it's now or never.

No matter what happens in Germany, I won't regret making this decision to go abroad on this program. I am really grateful to be selected for this program as there was many who applied for this program but failed to be selected. I am really grateful.

Back to the camp, 34 strangers became like a family after a few days of getting to know each other and activities conducted together. If you were there, you would have seen how naturally we became from strangers to a big happy family. I guess this happens when all of us have the same interest and purpose. I am really happy to get to know all of them.

I remember the first day at camp when we were all so quiet and shy. I remember Shant, our facilitators saying that it's normal, "hari pertama ini memang ini macam, semua diam-diam malu-malu, nanti sampai camp dah habis atau balik dari negara masing-masing, semua jadi bising. Mulut pun tak dapat nak diamkan."

It's so true! I have already seen some of us being much noisier compared to the first day at camp. I am pretty sure that many will return much louder and more confident. To be honest, I'm actually looking forward to the day we meet again after we all return. It will is so nice to see your friends being all different compared to the first time you have met.

Apart from the fun games we played together, we also had to be serious when they gave us useful information while we were there, like the Adjustment Cycle or rather the "Emotion Cycle". We are sure to experience a up and down roller coaster ride during our one year stay abroad but as long as we do not give up during the downs, everything on the ups will be there to excite us. They gave us an advice when going through the downs, try looking at the positive side of things and you will be able to enjoy better. "Always think positive!"

The facilitators are always reminding us not to ER (Early Return). "No matter what happens, NO ER." This phrase was repeated countless times during the camp! Now, I don't think any of us will forget.

Also, to know that you managed to adjust well, they told us that we will start dreaming in your foreign language and about things abroad. Well, if that is the case, I will be hoping to dream in German soon, maybe dream about some cute guys too!! =D

In another session, they taught us not to expect too much as high expectations will only disappoint us when things don't go as expected. Therefore, "EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!"

They gave us so many pointers all with the intention of us having a great stay abroad and learn as much as possible from this program. They surely did a great job! Kak Adila, one of the returnee from Germany gave my group(Germany group) also shared with us more about her stay in Germany. From the stories she shared with us, we are now quite comforted and relax to leave as everything is going to be alright. :)

My cool facilitators!
(first row) Johann, Kamun, Roxanne, Alixe, Kak Azreen, Kak Adila, Haiqal
(back row) Tracey & Shant!
Oh, I got two amazing roomies too! We stayed up during the night talking about our culture. Great chance to understand other races before we go. :D
Katsuri, Roxanne, Mariani. :)

My Germany group!  with Mr. Lokman (left)  and Kak Atty (right)

A bunch of strangers. XD

See what I mean? =D All hyper!

Emy dearest. <3 Can't wait to see her at the airport!
We will be flying to Germany together! =DD

Looking down at the challenges that come our way with a big smile and great courage.
"Bring it on, challenges!!"

Well, now you know how I got a big happy family in three days. I am glad to know all at Pre-departure Orientation Camp, I wish ya'll GOOD LUCK on ya journey and safe return. We shall meet again in 2013! Can't wait to see you guys again! =D

Eager to find out how I pack my whole room into my suitcase? Stay tuned to my blog post about packing for Germany!

TTFN tatafornow!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Awaiting the Tsunami

I bet many people my age group have either started college or got a job while waiting for the SPM results to be released. 

Since I'm not starting college this year, I guess you can say that I'm pretty much enjoying my stress free life, or at least stress free until end of the year.Besides cleaning the house and preparing my stuff for Germany, I help out at my aunt's cafe when they are short of workers.  

Last Wednesday and Thrusday, I had to work. I worked before a few times but not exactly during the lunch hour where the cafe will be so busy.  So, unaware of what I was heading for, I went to work.

The hours before lunch time was so boring that I felt sleepy. And when the clock stroke one ten pm, customers started coming one after another. I was so busy taking order, serving food&drinks, getting the bill. I was practically running all over the place doing everything!!

The situation got worse when there was some miscommunication in the kitchen once or twice and the staffs and I got all kelam-kabut. Add on, I wasn’t very familiar with the computer system too. Haha. I know, I know, it’s not easy being a waiteress and cashier. XD

PPPPhhheww, lunch hour finally went pass. Customers started leaving and the cafe became silent again. I was so relieve that the tide finally layed low. I was exhausted and my legs were feeling numb, though I only stood for like a few hours, I felt like I have stood for a day!

Well, didn’t think I handled Wednesday very well. As I was heading home, I told myself, this so isn’t as easy as i thought.

The next day, I went to work much earlier.  I took some time to study the computer system and encouraged myself that it’s going to be better this time. I’m going to survive this Tsunami, alright! Yeah, I describe the customers that come during lunch hour ‘The Tsunami’. Teehee~

 Okay, so I think that Thursday went much better compared to Wednesday. I was more in control of the situation. :P Of course, I can be better but surely it takes time and experience. So, for those of you who have not experience working in a cafe/restaurant, try not to be too harsh on the staffs when they don’t hear your request especially during rush hour. If you put yourself in their shoes, it’s actually not that easy to cope when you have got so many customers to attend to.  (;

Trust me, I have learnt my lesson now.

Oh, other than surviving the ‘Tsunami’, I also saw a rat dropping from the celling aircon and died(I think). The weather was so hot that we were looking at the aircon wondering if it’s broken but then something caught our attention-something hanging down from the aircon. A rat was stuck in between the wind plate of the aircon with it’s long tail dangling down! Eeeekkk~ I was screaming! One of the kakak quickly picked the little thing up with a plastic and threw it away. Uhhh, what a day! 
There, my two days of work. i must say that it definitely was a great learning experience for me,

If you have been to the seaside to play with the waves, you’ll know that-if you know just when to jump and follow the tide, it's unlikely you'll get washed away that easily and you'll find it quite fun playing with the waves.. :D

This also applies to the challenges we meet in our lives, they may be dangerous and scary at first, but as long as we have the courage to face them, we’ll surely be able to tackle them.

It's actually really beautiful.