Friday, February 11, 2011


Caution: Maudlin entry.

The transition of emotions from my travels from KL to Auckland is something I will remember well forever. When I first left for Auckland, when I was waving goodbye to my family the first time in KLIA, I felt alone, apprehensive and anxious. I didn't know what to expect, even if I've seen pictures and saw the welcome video from my university earlier. I had also taken the initiative to ask my friends who had been to Auckland about this new place that was about to be my home for the next 6 years, or so I thought. One thing I didn't do much is researching about Auckland online. My research was very basic as I want to experience things first hand and form my own opinions.

Once my feet touch Auckland International Airport, my first thought was 'Ah, my first step on Auckland soil'. Cliche, I know, but honest to God, that is my first thought. Then, all my apprehension and anxiety went away and excitement took over. I couldn't wait to explore, to see with my own two eyes what Auckland is all about. I was very cautious in the first year. My actions and choices were tightly regulated to my morality and religious belief. I only went to eateries that are proven halal (well, as the sign stated or as listed on Fianz website) and ensure I went back to do my prayers at my room.

On the subsequent years, further exposure and friendships with other international and local students had widen my experience. I explored and experience more while still trying to adhere to my beliefs. I become more adaptable and open-minded (I'd like to think so, but in reality, well, I don't see myself in the mirror every second do I?). I could now do my prayers in the most improbable places such as the disabled toilets, side roads, in the open (on the grass) and corridors as prayer place is not readily available in most of the places I've been to. I've eaten at a lot of other non-halal places such as bars and restaurants, choosing to eat the vegetarian and seafood options.

Anyway, every year I went back to KL. My life had taken into a very drastic direction within the last 5 years, I went further away from what I envisioned where my life would be when I was young and idealistic. I also became more comfortable in my travels from KL to Auckland. The feelings attached to leaving KL never go away. I still felt alone, apprehensive and anxious every time I left. I also felt sad. The emotion of excitement had also never go away upon my arrival to Auckland. In addition, I also feel happy, contented, familiar and a sense of welcome home in the subsequent years of my arrivals in Auckland. It's my home away from home, where I 'nested' and temporarily settled for the rest of each year.

In the end, I ended up staying for 5 years. It was a learning 5-years. In this period, I believe I grew up. While I am not wiser than before, I did learned a few life lessons. Life will never follow what we initially plan. I will miss Auckland and the friends I left behind profoundly. Its roads and corners are so familiar to me, I wish I can split myself into two and live simultaneously in both KL and Auckland. Auckland will always be my 'home away from home'.


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