Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bittersweet Goodbye to Sibu

Hey y'all

Me again. It just occurred to me that it might seem a little strange to be receiving so many updates from this blog after such a long time of nothing. Well, anyway just signing in during my last few hours here in Sibu before we board the buss to Miri.

I must say that this section of the trip was one that is fraught with mixed feelings for me. I mean, on the one hand there is the food issue (but there always is a food issue for me wherever I go. I mean try explaining to a Chinese person why I, another Chinese person will not eat pork. I don't know what it is about it, but many find the notion incredibly unbelievable) . And then, again as always, there is the huge language barrier. Living with a group of people you can't really communicate with can be quite alienating at times (despite the best attempts of said people to make you feel included, it can get very lonely when everyone bursts off into jubilant conversation and you can't participate).

On the other hand, I guess I could also take this as a quick taste of what is to come if I should start my PhD in March . Not to mention I proved to myself that (in just 2 days) I've managed to pick up sufficient mandarin to understand when someone is asking for a glass of water, or for example, when someone needs help taking the clothes in because of all this rain we are having.

But the highlight of the trip must have been yesterday, when I finally made a connection with Ray's brothers. I don't know what is so special about it, but it really means a lot to me that Collymore (the youngest) said that he wished I could be around longer, and that Pacific (the middle) finally acknowledged my presence long enough to share a few jokes and play a few rounds on the play station! Ray pointed out that our newfound relationship may have been a result of me gaining some respect by defeating him several times at Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. I guess it's a little like urban human male equivalent of territorial posturing. Even Ray's mother seemed to have warmed up to me significantly, despite my clumsy attempts at making conversation in Chinese followed by our awkward moments of silence after where about 90% of what was said being lost in mental translation.

And so, it is on that bittersweet note, that I sign off now. It is funny how the world works isn't it? Just when I'd finally start to fit in, when they'd finally start to embrace me... well, it was time to go. At least I can say I have one more good reason to come back to Sarawak in the future. Much love to ya'll. Until my next pit stop then...


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