I wake, reach out for the glass bottle that sits on the desk next to the bed and gulp down the crisp tap water hungrily. An alarming thought comes to mind and I grope around for my watch but then remember that it’s my day off. Who cares about the time when you don’t have to work. Then, I roll on my side to kiss the unmoving Mister A, admire his messy three days’ beard and still huddling underneath the duvet, try to forecast the weather for the day by staring at the heavy drapes. Judging from the harsh contrast of the dancing shadow of my little basil plant against the drab brown, I decide that it could be very well be sunny and windy.
I squint when the lights come on and the captain’s voice booming over the loudspeaker, announcing that we’re about to touchdown at Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport. Already? My heart beats a little faster. The AirAsia flight was long, uneventful and uncomfortable, even for a pint-sized girl like me, but boredom had given way to fatigue and I’d slept the entire journey.
A sturdy but slightly dusty 45L red and gray backpack, and an orange waterproof daypack are sitting on the floor, staring back at me. One weighs about 15kg and the other, about 5.
I’m ready. Here I am, standing and scanning at my almost empty and more spacious than usual small room. Most of the furniture are gone-I’ve either sold them or given them away. The other clothes, shoes and a barrage of knick-knacks have been packed away into two small suitcases while some books into a box. I’m no hoarder, as my nomadic lifestyle has never allowed me the luxury to, yet packing took longer than I’ve expected. In between my brief escapades, I’ve only lived in La Maison of Awesomeness (a name my housemates and I have given to our 3-bedroom apartment), for a total of 5 months, but somehow things found its way into my room. All those ‘stuff’-I’ve no more use for them anymore.
This photo was taken while I was journeying across the Balkans in 2009 with Tim, a good English friend of mine. We’d taken a day trip out to the lake coast of the St. Naum Monastery, where we marvelled at the picturesque coast, teased the aloof peacocks at the monastery’s courtyard and gaped at the Galičica Mountain looming behind.
UPDATE AS OF 23 JUNE 2016:
It seems that the Australian High Commission of Kuala Lumpur has recently updated their website and it is imperative and utterly important that you visit that website and read about everything you need to know in order to successfully apply for the Australian Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462). Please do not ask me (or the other helpful readers) questions pertaining to the application if the answers are already provided on the website or in the comments below. For goodness sake, don’t be lazy and spend some time reading the website thoroughly! If you can’t even take the initiative to even do that, then I’m sorry, we really can’t help you out. And do bear in mind that I’m not an agent nor am I working for the Australian High Commission. I’m merely an ex-Australian Work and Holiday visa applicant and can only share with you my experiences. Nothing more. If you need clarification on certain things like exemptions, translations, certifications, etc., I suggest that you email the High Commission.
On the 2nd of July at 1.05 am, I am playing cards on the dirty pavement outside the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur with two other fellow CouchSurfers Marcus and Stefano while waiting and sitting in line.
There are about 38 other Malaysians ahead of us, starting with the first girl sitting on a foldable chair, closest to the iron wrung entrance of the High Commission. While we may look like refugees to a passerby, huddling in front of an institution that may promise sanctuary and asylum, we are actually more like a bandwagon of bedraggled aspiring travellers, camping out so that we can secure ourselves a spot of opportunity: our only chance to apply for the Australian Work and Holiday visa for the year 2012.
This is my first post and if I may so admit, I’m terrified to the bone.
It has been a while since I’ve put myself out there, trying to speak to the virtual masses, capturing vignettes of life and letting them tumble out of my mind and into words that will make beautiful sense.
What scares me most is not of lack of content, but lack of discipline and faith in my own craft to nurture this space. Will this blog continue to see the light of the day, month after month, year after year? Will I continue to keep this delicate thought sanctuary of mine rich with words and evocative with memories? Or will I allow my resistance to get the better of me, let it desiccate my creative juices and desire till this blog shrivels into oblivion?