and so it begins

And its been two weeks exactly since I’ve come to Manipal, Karnataka, India. :) It’s only been 14 days, but its already a crazy wild ride. And I mean it. It’s been intense, and soul-searching in ways I didn’t know it could be. I’ve found myself questioning things I’ve always taken for granted, and certain prejudices that I thought would be gone when we got here, still remained deep set within people.

Anyhow, I wanted to try videologs, but I found myself being too embarrassed to talk in front of a camera. You think I should still try? May send the first few tries to some people, but they’ll tell you that I suck immediately. Haha.

Still, it begins.

This is a shortform of what’s been going on. I’ll probably elaborate along the way, but yeah. Cliffnotes! :D

18 September 2010
8 pm
Rushing to pack clothes before leaving. Had to return to the house to take blazer. Kena marah cause I sangat leceh. Thank goodness managed to stuff 20kg all in the bag.

Met up with 3rd Aunt and cousins. Family gather around and said goodbyes as I took a flight to KLIA. It was rather emotional, with them being so excited for me. On the other hand, I didn’t feel much excitement because it was all about going off to study, and for me, the place didn’t matter so much. It was all about studying anyway. At that time I was more concerned about the hours I would have to sleep. Haha.

Still, I felt really grateful and just happy, because my family and relatives really cares for me, and they themselves are so proud of me of being able to go. Really really touched about that. Bought me a number of thoughtful gifts too. :) Gonna make them proud!

Restlessly pacing around room in BU. In the end slept around 2am, thinking about the new things about to come in the days ahead. Dad was pretty emotional too.

Leaving for another country, and the ones left behind are the ones that worry the most.

19 September 2010
Had breakfast with Grandma. Still not feeling the urgency about leaving the country.

Met up with dearest Elsha and Jia Yi. Had lunch with them and they followed me home. They then each proceeded to take catnaps on my bed. Had some meaningful conversations with both of them. Talking with them made me realize how much I really missed them. Can’t believe I won’t be seeing them for a while.

Rushed to go KLIA. Wore itchy pants and hot blazer. Really hate it.

Arrived at KLIA and finally felt the whole trepidation and excitement, seeing so many others in formal blazers, and huge bags. It was really really scary actually. Everyone had their own send-off team, if not, there were always the friends gathering around, adding to the tension in the air. “Another country!” “India!” “Corpses!” (No, they didn’t really say all that out, but they might as well.)

Sent luggage off, and proceeded to call beloved people one by one.

Finally had a briefing, and is finally very, very excited.

Finally sat in plane after much hustle and bustle. And feels so cool, because everyone you know is there, and some are practically bouncing on their seats. Food served was actually quite nice, and handsome air stewards served us. Hmmm, nice.

11pm (Malaysian time)
Couldn’t sleep cause chair couldn’t be pushed back. And Karate Kid, the latest one was showing. The irony.

12am (Bangalore time)
Touched down on airport and noticed not as many nightlights as the streets of KL. Air smelled different. (Kidding.)

How to describe the next few hours?

More like, hectic, busy, no time to sleep at all, scary, scary, and more excitement. Coming out of the airport was the one that really struck me. This was because of the many many people held back by bars as they waved at us to get an offer in rooms/cars/anything. We sped past them in our blazers and bags, and walked to the bus at the far end of the airport. And all the while, with the exception of the people, it all felt like a small area in Ponderosa. (If you knew where this is, in JB, you’ll know what I mean. Esther said it felt like those small areas in PJ I think. Not too sure, lol.)

Finally settled on the bus provided outside Bengaluru airport at 1.45am, and drove to the hotel. Reached by 2.30am or so. Went to rooms, and slept till 3.45am (Only an hour!) and then went for breakfast. By the time it was 5am, we were back at the airport to wait for our next flight to Mangalore.

Yep, no sleeping time at all.

But the ride to the hotel in the bus was spent wide awake. Just simply watching the murals painted beautifully on the walls there, and the weirdness of the place. Namely, a bunch of trees, and forests and suddenly a huge building/shopping complex looming out of nowhere. And the bus was driving crazy fast, worst than those buses in college then. Bumps on the road made me go “EEEEEP” every once in a while cause I was sitting right at the back where the hit was felt rather strongly.

It was cold, with the air whipping straight in the face, and the roads were lit with orange lamps that wasn’t too bright. It was mostly the full moon that illuminated the scenery, and it made it all seem like a dream. Like being in a movie. And you’re just watching your life go by. Then we saw the autos. Three wheeled vehicles that acted like taxis.

After another flight, which was short, and seemed more like a hallucination, we finally arrived in Mangalore. The airport was on top on the hill, and the place was rather empty. Head felt rather light headed due to lack of sleep and water. And bus ride to Manipal was spent in a daze. Not really watching the scenary and not really sleeping because the ride there was literally a roller-coaster ride. UP DOWN SWERVE OMG CLIFF WOW HE’S AWESOME AT DRIVING AROUND TINY BENDS SCREAAAM SLEEP.

Day ahead was once again hectic, with the rush to settle for rooms, and getting things done. Went out with seniors to buy necessities, and name tags and lab coats. By the end of the day, we were dead exhausted, and it only continued to be that tiring till Wednesday night when things were finally 50% settled.

Long story. Much to tell. And too lazy to write. Hahahaha. But this was when the déjà vu really struck.

22 September 2010
One day orientation and evenings were filled with dances by the seniors, Batch 26. Was hormonal, and nearly cried in the middle of a big happy dance. This was when I first felt it. That feeling of extreme loneliness in a huge crowd of people. What is this, what is this really?

It never really went away.

23 September 2010

8.30 am
Classes begun! And by 2pm, we already had our first lecture in Anatomy. Even had a class in Biochemistry already! (Ugh, CHEM again. :X )

Had a small session about how to respect the cadavers as we were about to have many dissection classes too. So exciting! Finally feels like I’ve begun to take a step in learning to be a doctor!

Night was again spent sleeping early. Small time difference, but still couldn’t really get over it. So much trouble with rooms, J-Cyn insisted on mentioning. Haha.

24 September 2010
Felt really excited as each teacher described the importance of what we were about to learn in that hour for the dissection class on Monday. I’m really scared of cutting. Not blood exactly, but that particular cut in the epidermis, dermis layer. And each lesson detailed the structures we were to encounter soon. It really makes me feel so apprehensive and its all so brilliant at the same time. Feel really motivated to study, because its really things that I enjoy.

Biochemistry, not so much. Anatomy on the other hand. Wheee! Going to visit the extensive Anatomy Museum here soon. They say it’s the best one in the Asian region! But first, a trip to Udupi to get much needed necessities such as table lamps and furniture. Its still busy busy busy for us here.

25 September to 3 October

And for the next week ahead, I can’t really say what was really going on. But yeah, went to Udupi. Bought things. Had many, many classes already. And two dissection classes.

My first dream was to be a doctor, and as I grew older, I tried to rationalize with myself. Asking myself if this was what I really wanted. It was during the Hospital Attachment, when I went into each surgery room, watching doctors slice, drill, and cut, that I told myself, “Hey, no urge to vomit, maybe you can do this after all!” And I even thought that cutting dead bodies would be so much easier than doing proper surgery, cause you know, chances of death and all. The dead stay dead too.

Then I found out I got India as my destination, and everyone said you could get many cadavers there, and I said, “Yeah, and I’ll finally overcome my fears of cutting.”

Turns out my stomach still lurches at the sight and smell of cadavers. I know I was saying about how I’m so excited about it all, I mean, I even wore the super cool labcoat early but in the end, the reality of it was so much more than what I had first thought. I nearly vomited so many times in the room, as the other students poked and prodded the bodies. I mean, seriously, they treated it like it was an experiment and well, yes, it was to gain first hand experience and exposure of body parts too. But the way they handled it!

It seemed like my delicate insides couldn’t stand it and I stood far far away while the teacher eyed me and tried to get me more involved. Seriously, the smell! And the sight! Like chicken meat! I mean it!

No more KFC. Maybe forever. I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll get over it soon. :( I don’t know when, but with four dissection classes in a week of six study days, I think I will, soon. Maybe. Hopefully.

And yes, Anatomy classes. OH BOY. THEY ARE INSANE. Everyone has already started memorizing because well, tests are coming, can you IMAGINE. This is what doctors have to go through after all. The insane amount of things to remember, memorize, know. My housemates are some of the most hardworking people ever, with bright results and all. I’m of average intelligence, and I feel so inadequate here. I know I have to work hard, but when I think of all the work to do, to memorize, all I want to do is to quit and cry.

I never knew it could be this stressful. I mean, yes, of course it’ll be stressful. But I didn’t know I’d feel like shit all the time. It’s like fighting Mr. Chemistry all over again. Only this time, it encompasses everything that I’ll have to do. Oh God. Help me.

When you’re with the best, surrounded by them. You want to be the best too. With my nature, to not be one of the best, its hard. But I think I’ll have to learn anyhow.

But yes, this is what has been going on so far.

And I did mention the three-wheeled vehicles called Auto right? The taxi-like creatures? They’re like insane flies driving on the road. They go crazy fast, over every bump and crack, and swerve insanely, and its like the main mode of transport for us kids without cars here. Seriously, my first time in an Auto, and I nearly lost my heart. Drivers here are insane as well, with their malicious, crazy, obsession with HORNS. Oh the sound pollution here is so much worst than KL.

Still, its fun. In a way. Having so many new adventures, getting ripped off and all. It really is. :)

I only wish I could find a way to get to know more private students and be friends. Haha.

One thought on “and so it begins

  1. Hi girl. I am glad you wrote so extensively on your trip. It is natural to feel lonely when so far away, but I guess loneliness is within, so it doesn’t really matter.

    But look upon Christ’s sacrifice for you on the Cross and remember that the greatest glory and work He has done is to save you from the life you once lived. And that completes us; all of us will be lonely at points in life but Jesus has promised to come back.

    Things will get crazier and studies will overwhelm; pressure will pile up and snowball you but the competition and straight A’s is not your ultimate goal. Remember God’s sacrifice. :) Loves. Miss you dear. We must skype some time. or maybe I’ll go to India at the end of this year to visit. I want to go see that famous anatomy museum!

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