I had had a very eventful week.
On Monday we were supposed to exchange some documents for RM1000 book vouchers to be used in the campus bookstore. RM1000 is a lot of money. Immediately after lunch I went to the balcony to get these measly vouchers. And then I realized everyone had an obnoxious green form which I did not possess at that very moment in the queue. Refusing to back down, I tried to wing it when I got to the front of the queue. I passed my documents to the teacher in charge [codename taichi master] and it was so obvious that my documents were all suspiciously white. Okay, so I don’t have that stupid green form. I quickly borrowed a copy from a random guy in the queue, photostated it and was about to sit down and fill it in with triumphant glee over my own ingenuity, when I realized another obnoxious detail about the green form: it required my reference number, which I could not remember off the top of my head, nor could I find out through the Internet.
The queue was getting shorter as more people had claimed their vouchers with relative ease. The booth was about to close. Chemistry class was going to start in 45 minutes. I wanted those book vouchers so I had no choice. I had to go get that reference number from the drawer in my room. Which was in my hostel. Which was 15 minutes’ walk from school. So naturally I ran all the way back to my hostel on the elevated canopy walk which seemed to stretch on forever, spilled into my room, grabbed the stupid document and was off again, running this time across roads and stopping cars. Feeling pretty breathless but smug that I pulled off that whole feat in record time, I walked up to the third floor to get my book vouchers.
And I found the place stripped bare. No sign of a book-document exchange booth ever being there, no tables, no chairs, no excess papers, no fallen pencils or anything. I hadn’t taken that long! Taichi master said he’ll be there! What is this joke? Why did I run all the way like a creature enslaved to money when there was no money at the end of the journey? I had come all this way, and even though chemistry started in about twenty minutes, my desperation for those stupid vouchers took me to the first floor to the telephones to contact unrelated people to the registry to blank faces to the library to bemused librarians whom I had hoped ferociously were involved in the booth although that whole logic is ridiculous. With ten minutes left, I was alone back to the third floor contemplating my fate and gathering my breath when taichi master approached me. And in that moment hope was restored! He told me about ‘back in his days’ stories and I was growing restless as I was going to be late to class if I don’t make my way to the other building soon. Fortunately he offered to help at the end of the conversation and brought me to the office that contained my book vouchers which was oh-so-fortunately right next to the classroom I was supposed to have chemistry in. So all was well: I got the damn vouchers, I made it to chemistry, taichi master now knows my name.
On Wednesday I brought my Nikon to school because I could and because I only had three periods of class that day. So I walked around documenting my daily life on campus, which included documenting the life of Janice’s class as well, because my classmates were in the library during the break and my autofocus was too loud for library standards. And I don’t know if I deserve it or not, but I got insulted again, for trying to ‘rape some boys with my camera’. These college students seem generally afraid of cameras pointed at their direction. Yes I admit I walked into Janice’s class to take a picture of her like a proud parent, but surely claims of privacy violation and stalker harassment was too harsh for humble me and my camera? Either way I had a feeling the boys wouldn’t stop screaming until I left so I left and incidentally I happened to be sitting on the bench on the third floor when taichi master who seemed to be wandering around a lot caught me in a conversation about cameras. I remember I had three things to google from the conversation alone: the 4/3 sensor system, Karl Zeiss and something else. It turned into a coffee conversation then a BOH tea conversation then the conversation was brought into his cubicle which was pretty cool for a teacher as it was filled with collectibles and personality. And then we spent the remaining half an hour conversing about god before I had to leave for math class.
On Thursday after class I had some time left before going to my committee meeting. I was bored and Janice was around so I said: Hey let’s go see the taichi master, let’s go get that BOH tea box he promised me. So we went to the staffroom and he happened to be there and I asked for my tea box right away, no polite filler conversation or whatever to display my upbringing. And then he gave it to me and it has become very special because it is my first present in college for doing absolutely nothing. In fact it is so special that Janice walked all the way to Daiso in the pyramid to get us both some teapots and teacups and an espresso cup and that night we sat on the dining table drinking that special tea out of the teapot like pretentious posh people. But before that the three of us sat in the corridors leading to the staffroom watching people come in and out like stoned people until taichi master had to leave to teach.
On Friday, today, I was supposed to use my Nikon to take fancy pictures of people holding up signs for Janice’s group project, but halfway through I got distracted and met the president of our own group project and he wanted a drink so okay, let’s go for a drink. Then the drink turned into lunch on the first floor of a cafe opposite the college and we got a double apple fruity beverage which I was really afraid to try but I had to try anyway to earn myself boasting rights and curiousity points. I was concerned about the hygiene of the straws used in this fruity beverage so he asked for two and I have mine here right now with me as a keepsake of my first time drinking something like that. And then his friend came and we passed this beverage around, taking turns and making shapes with our mouths. In the first few proper sips [experimental first sips do not count] I felt myself getting light-headed, my head grew heavy and it got a bit difficult to focus. Afterwards though it was all right and I was still able to make my way to the chemistry classroom although I was not as sober as before. Eventually the feeling faded off and I read up on the nutritional facts of this beverage online and I feel bad now because it is a terrible friend to your health.
It was not alcoholic.