Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh, How It's Been So Long!

And so much has happened! Well, my apologies, you dedicated readers. I'll type real fast, 'kay? I've only got a few minutes, here.

Since Christmas! Holy Cow! Quite literally, because I spend my nativity week with my Hindu Deepavali family. They were kind enough to have us, meaning myself, another American student and a Belgian student, in Penang and show us around that beautiful island. We visited temples of all shapes and sizes and spent Christmas Day on the beach. Pictures to follow when my netbook starts working. It's a feisty little machine that doesn't like to accept the fact that I do, in fact, have other things to do. Visiting Perak and Penang was my first non-AFS traveling excursion and caused me to realize that as young adults we are almost capable of organizing ourselves into things, especially with a certain American (not me) taking charge. Perak was just as filled with discoveries, including a historic castle and a cavernous cave. Is that redundant?
New Years! Happy 2012! I have the fantastic luck of being in the capitol city for this celebration, so I followed a few out-of-state students to the Petronas Towers to count out the last few moments. We saw some sights around KL, what with the festivities in Merdeka Square and the surrounding area, and then spent an extended period of time at a mumak stall (an outdoor restaurant selling food cheaply and quickly) waiting for a taxi. As you could imagine, that took a while at 2 am New Years Day. We the nproceeded to greet the new year with sleep.
Just waking up, school began! I'm attending the same school as the last part of last year, SMK Wangsa Melawati. I'm in the arts stream, so I take a collection of lower-level classes for those students who plan on focusing on the arts in their careers and lives after school. All of the subjects are taught in Malay, except English. The notes for Science class are given in English, but the experiments and discussions are in Bahasa Melayu, further encouraging me to brush up on my linguistic skills. I've recently been taking advantage of the school library and in reviewing the books on subjects I've already taken I realize how much I've forgotten. Now I can spend the majority of the classes that I won't be tested on studying Chemistry and Hinduism, Biology and Buddhism. Oh yes, and I've taken a liking to philosophy, but that's nothing new. What is new to me is the Co-curricular activities my school has organized. They're affectionately referred to as "co-cos", and I attend the Orchestra (pitifully picking at my peculiar... pachederm? No, that's an elephant. I'm playing my ukulele) and English Drama, both of which are turning out to be exciting and challenging and fun. Another big hulla-balloo that's coming up in the next few months is the Sport Day, when all the students form into teams (I'm Saphire, there's also topaz and ruby and emerald) and compete in physical activities. I get to run again! There's a fundraiser dinner organized by the school that I performed at this weekend, again playing my ukulele, but the song 'Rasa Sayang', which is a traditional Malay folk song. It's really cute, translating to "I feel love, hey! I feel love, feel love, hey! Hey look at that girl over there! I feel love, I feel love, hey!". Then, nursery rhymes are paired with the music and everyone seems to know them already. A lot of emphasis has been put on this series of 'pantun', and I feel as though it's kind of cheating to write poetry in this language because most words end with the same syllable. At least rapping in English is a challenge, you need to be fluent in that language to make things up, but Malay has proven itself useful in this medium. I also sang "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz at this dinner, encountering a few techinical difficulties but only embarassing myself a little.

More later, much love, gotta run! (I PROMISE the next one will be better and more involved and smarter and biger words and pictures. Maybe not pictures, but you get me)
~Peggy

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