Since my last whiny post I have eaten lots of chocolate (big smiles), discovered that my pair of Black Sexy Jeans are a bit looser around the waist (bigger smiles), and I also went to uni to confirm my attendance at the graduation ceremony this Saturday. So, am not whiny anymore, but happy and relatively skinny.
I don’t actually have time to be lounging around and blogging, so I’ll do this entry in point form, kay?
I’m graduating this Saturday!
My mom, stepdad and Midget are coming to Melburn tomorrow!
I think that’s all the big news I have. I can’t think of anything else. How bout some small news?
I had a good good steak meal yesterday. It was a massive piece of cow, with pepper sauce, and home-made potato wedges, and salad. Mmm.
A certain photography major has been taking portraits of me in varying light settings. It is a bit weird looking back at the photos because it’s like, WHOA man, who is that rawkstar in those amazing black-and-white pictures of varying light settings?
‘Tis me, teehehehehe.
Did I tell you… I’m graduating on Saturday?!!
Also, I had a phone interview last week with a toy company. I will hear back this week and if all goes well I can call myself a Game Consultant. Teehehehee. Basically that means showing people how to play games and getting paid for it, teehehehe.
Why am I teeheeing so much. Maybe a chocolate overload.
Uhmm that’s all now I have to go, kthxbye.
I’ve been easily agitated and generally whiny lately.
A game of Guitar Hero got me in a rage.. I almost had the fits because I couldn’t hit the notes on Hard. Somehow, those annoying colourful circles and the instinctive ability to tilt the plastic thing resembling a guitar to get Star Power just got me in such a state, that my thought process looked something like this:
I can play guitar. Therefore I must be able to play Guitar Hero.
If I can’t play Guitar Hero, then I can’t play guitar.
If I can’t play guitar, then I can’t do anything.
If I can’t do anything, then my entire self worth as a human being amounts to nothing.
Ended up sulking for half an hour. Poor Girl Chris was trying so hard to lose, so that I would feel better, but that made it worse because getting your arse pitied is worse than getting your arse kicked.
Playing Tekken with Boy Chris wasn’t much fun either. Similar thought process, similar (il)logical sequence.
I can fight. Therefore I must be able to play a fighting simulation game.
If I can’t play a fighting simulation game, then I can’t fight.
If I can’t fight, I am weak and worthless.
Also sulked for half an hour.
I sulk a lot.
This all has something to do with the whole job thing, somehow, I think. In my last post I wrote about how I had to write about a certain brand for a job application at a certain marketing magazine. I got the interview, which I thought went well, but I didn’t get the job.
The only job I got was a soul-destroying sales job, which would involve walking up to random strangers at the mall, like an annoying bug, and trying to sell them credit cards. I turned it down, and have been fretting ever since, wondering if I’d just turned down the only job I could get.
I am getting so used to rejection that I’m expecting an “Unfortunately you weren’t right for this position” before even typing up my covering letters.
I am so tired at looking at classifieds, knowing I’m not qualified for half the jobs, and, in all probability, won’t get any of the half I am qualified for.
I am thankful for my supportive friends, who repeat “You’re awesome!” and “You can do it!” like a mantra, but so far all evidence point to the contrary.
I feel an overwhelming rush of WhatthefuckamIdoinghere? mixed with a tinge of Howdidmylifecometothis?
I had such big, big dreams.
And I’m wondering if I can ever get a better job than as an annoying bug selling credit cards.
Mostly I just feel so very, very alone.
Wow, have I got major news for you.
I mean…. WOW, have I. Got MAJOR. News. For yooouuu.
Sorry, I feel like since I haven’t been updating in a while, any news I write here is major news. And punctuation just does such a good job at emphasizing any ol’ crap.
So how’ve you been, dahlings? Haven’t heard from you in ages. Good? Good good, that’s very good.
(Exhibit A: Nadia trying to interact with her ‘readers’, exaggerating the total number by using plurals.)
I’ve been good too. Well, kinda. Relatively. You know. At one point since the last update it kind of all came crashing down on me, and by ‘it’ I mean the crippling realization that I am jobless, school-less, very soon to be homeless, and I’m all alone in this foreign (bloody cold) land and I’ve got no support and my world as I know it is over, over, over, and I’ve got no one to blame but myself oh I should just drop to the ground and die now instead of going through the trouble of living and doing anything about it.
It’s true that I was feeling, howdoyousayit, scared. Terrified, even. Maybe a wee bit sad.
But that has all changed now, relatively, not a complete 360 turn of events just yet, but my attitude and therefore wellbeing has changed. And now, at midnight, in a house in Box Hill South, the occupants of which are… interesting, to put it mildly, and with a bottle of J@ck D@niel’s in front of me, I can now write a half-decent blog post about my recent, mildly entertaining misfortunes, to be read by you, in all probability, the only visitor of this here Blog.
And yes, the whys and hows of me being at Box Hill South, and an almost-empty bottle of whiskey being in front of me, will be explained in due time.
But first, say it with me now…
1. Syira the tourist.
My little sister Syira, four years younger than me and is therefore the perpetual ‘little’ brat who couldn’t ride a bike until it was out of fashion, came all the way to Oztraylia during her college break. Because she was arriving so early in the morning and I don’t have a car, I told my mom to tell her to take a cab to my apartment, and my mother’s first response was, “Reti ke dia?! (Would she know how to?!)”
I assured her that yes, she would know how to, because she has traveled all the way to the Netherlands by herself and Oztraylia is, by comparison, a far easier country in terms of communication and such.
She spent a bit more than a week over here, and it was a helluva lotta fun. Mostly, though, it was Guitar Hero.
And shopping. Lotsandlots of shopping.
We also went to the zoo, the Melburn Zoo, which isn’t very nice. It looked really sad and it was about to rain and she actually wanted to turn back and go home but I said NO! You cannot come to Oztraylia and not see a kangaroo, cannot! So we went anyway and she got all happy and the sun started shining the minute we saw kangaroos, wombats, koalas and such. Was fun.
Syira also met most of my friends, which she says could be characters from tv shows. Which I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing yet.
The final two nights of her stay, there was some trouble with my living situation. The new random Korean dude had moved in (into the room Syira had been using), and I felt bad for Syira for getting it so messed up. And it isn’t very comfortable having a random dude around the house, so with the help of Mommy’s credit card, we packed up the ps2 and Guitar Hero, and checked into a hotel. That wasn’t bad at all, and we got it at a third of the normal rate too, because of a last-minute internet deal I found.
Ah, the internet is really really great. (And if you continue that line with what I think you’re going to continue with I will smack you on the head. If you dunno then, nevermind.)
But anyway, Syira’s stay here was pretty awesome. I miss her already.
Now on to other news, we kinda have a lot to cover…
2. My housemate the ninja.
After Syira left, I went back to my apartment, and thought I’d just live there for the time being while searching for a new place to stay. I still pay rent for my room, after all. And the random Korean dude is polite enough and as far as I can tell, very tidy, so I didn’t mind.
But here’s the thing.
I never see him.
I go to the kitchen, and there’s lots of plates there that weren’t there before. But no sign of random Korean dude.
I pass my the bathroom, and the toilet seat is up, when it was down when I used the toilet barely 5 minutes ago.
Shoes appear and reappear. Dishtowels get magically moved around. But I never see him.
So, my friends and I have concluded that he is a ninja.
Well okay… I made the conclusion. My friends merely nod politely and say, “Rooiiight.”
And so, we come to Box Hill South. See, Melburn has this little Chinatown, which is actually just a street, in the heart of the city. Get on a train and head East for about 37 minutes, and you’re in Box Hill, which is one massive Chinatown. You get the Chinese shops that sell everything from bed socks to novelty toilet plungers, restaurants with menus in Chinese and roasted ducks hanging by their necks in the window. A bit to the South is Box Hill South, and that is where Girl Chris lives.
Girl Chris has two housemates; Boy Chris, a hyper, over-achieving and perpetually busy Oztraylian (also an absolute joy to be around), and Clover, a totally random, entertaining girl from China. I’d met them before, and since Girl Chris was going to be away for the holidays, I’ve taken over her room for the time being. I’m also competing her for the Best Housemate in the World title, but I think they just like me because I brought a ps2 and keep the kitchen clean.
Over the last few days I’ve spent a lot of time with Boy Chris, who’s been off work with a throat infection. He’s mostly been kicking my ass at Tekken, but once in a while when we pause the game we have good talks too.
Actually, he is the one who put the bottle of J@ck D@niel’s whiskey in front of me and told me to start writing.
And so we come to #3.
3. The job situation.
Some weeks ago I applied for an internship which I actually really wanted, and got called for an interview. Unfortunately, the Internship, also known as My Entire Self-Worth as a Human Being, did not work out.
They were really nice about it though. Said the competition was really tough, and gave me constructive feedback for my future. But still, being rejected really sucks.
I realized then that I have a habit of putting all my eggs in one basket. Even from before, even applying to universities and such, I would apply to one I really really wanted, and hope it works out. Of course there’s a 50-50 chance of it not working out, and when it doesn’t, I’ve got no plan B. So when my basket was smashed this time, of course I sulked, sobbed, whimpered, and wallowed in self pity for days.
It was quite awful, being stuck in my head like that.
But I eventually got over it and started sending out my CV to anyone who may be remotely interested. I must have applied to 20 jobs in 2 days or something. And yesterday, I got a reply from a magazine, Oztraylia’s version of Adoi (for those in the biz, so to speek), who said I’d been shortlisted along with 12 others, and my first task is to write a 500-word piece on J@ck D@niel’s the brand.
My first plan of action was actually to kill the other 12. Or severely sabotage them, or something. But you know. Have to play it legal, and all that.
I haven’t started on my article yet but I’ll get there, preferably tonight. After a long rambling blog post, you know, 500 words on some brand (which is likely to determine the rest of your stay here in Oztraylia) isn’t so daunting. At 10 pm, Boy Chris came to check on me, and I was having a nap. He switched the light on, told me to make coffee, gave me a pep talk, and put the bottle of whiskey on the desk.
“What’s that?” I said. “For luck?”
“No, it’s for getting pissed after you’re done!”
4. The lucky, lucky internet find.
Besides the job hunt I’d also been busy house hunting (my, my, don’t we sound all grown up and in the Real World now) and I’d been emailing so many random strangers. Do you know how hard it is to find a non-student only, fully furnished place, that isn’t completely crappy?
Very hard, I’ll tell you that.
Out of desperation I put a ‘room wanted’ ad on Gumtree, and got some great responses. I was quite excited about living with a Zen monk, but the winning house turned out to be a beauty. A bit far from the city (even further East than Box Hill) but the house is sooo nice. And clean.
And more importantly, cheap!
And, fully furnished!
And — get this — the woman living there currently, my future housemate, is a Malaysian! A working professional Malaysian, even, who, (and here’s your cue to go omg!) as soon as I told her I’d like to move in, bought me a new dresser! She even picked me up by car from the train station and offered to buy me dinner at a Malaysian restaurant nearby, haha. Then spent some time driving me around, showing me where the shopping centre and bus stops are, which I’ve of course completely forgotten now. But still.
If all goes well I will be moving my things on the 18th of July. I cannot wait to have a backyard. It is so cute.
5. And now?
Now? Now I think I will get to work on my teeny tiny article. Oh look, this is almost 2000 words already. Now on to the ‘real’ writing… not a problem.
And yes yes this is not My Entire Self Worth as a Human Being and I will try my absolute best but if I don’t get it there are other opportunities, blah blah blah.
So. Y’all be good now.
At the last minute, Sybille ignored the German part of her and decided to move out of the apartment. She put up an ad for her room, found a new place to stay, signed the lease, and signed the papers releasing her share of this apartment to some random Korean dude, effective 1st July. She did all this in a day, today, before leaving for Europe for the holidays tomorrow.
This whole thing has felt like a bad break up, stemming from an easily avoidable misunderstanding, which grew way out of proportion into a full-blown cold war, a close-the- door-in- your-face, you-avoid- me-I-avoid- you-back, oh-fine- don’t-say-hello-to- me-you-wench, Thing; which died down eventually, in favour of a silent confrontation. I say silent confrontation because the entire ‘argument’ took place via email, which included smileys and teary (or so I imagine) confessions of you’re-the- best-flatmate-I-ever- had-even-though-I-was-g rumpy, let’s-be-friends -even-after-we-move-out, oh-how-I-loved -living-with-you- and-I’ll-miss- you-so-much.
The random Korean dude will move in on the 1st of July, I think, which is when the apartment I was interested in (has potential, right in the heart of the city) is available. Said random Korean dude has a friend to take over my share of the lease a week or two later. It looks like things are working out, and may possibly be the best thing to happen to us.
Tonight, as Sybille frantically packs – both to go home and to move out – is our last night together as flatmates.
We went to the supermarket earlier to ask for boxes. Ended up with five boxes each, formerly home to bananas and potatoes. The boxes didn’t actually fold, so they were stacked on top of each other, my stack coming up above my head and I had to carry them sideways to see where I was going.
We made dinner, watched The Simpsons, talked.
Afterwards, around midnight, she knocked on my door to ask if I wanted to go to uni with her, to return some books to the library.
“Only if you want to, because I can go by myself,” she said.
Of course it crossed my mind that the library would be closed, at midnight, but I thought it’d be nice to go for a walk. It was always a Sybille thing to do, taking random walks around campus at midnight, usually to talk about random things and laugh at possum sounds that scare the crap out of me. Since the cold war started it’s been a while since we did so, and it was nice to talk again.
Of course the library was closed.
“I’ll really miss our random walks,” she said.
And I said “Yeah.” But I really mean ‘Me too.’
Tonight we’re working out who keeps what, of the random things we bought together. Tomorrow I’ll decide on the apartment I’ll move into. And hopefully, someday, my flatmate and I can be friends again.
And hopefully, hopefully, after all the packing and dividing is done, we’ll be so sleep deprived it wouldn’t even cross our minds to cry.
(Stupid, juvenile fun, like blue tongues.)
Because despite (or maybe because of) everything, she really is the best flatmate I ever had, too.
Guess what guess what.
Syira’s coming to visit me tomorrow!!
Omg omg it will be so much fun. Thhhheriously. 🙂
Stay tuned for retarded cam-whoring pictures, stories about Shopping Way Too Much, and in all probability, getting sick of each other after a day. This should be interesting.
On Thursday, in the midst of my cold war with the flatmate, I had to go for an interview (or, as it is called in my head, The Massive Decider of How I Would Meet My Doom). I had been worrying (or, more accurately, FREAKING OUT) all week about it, because 1) I’d never been to an interview in 3 years or so, 2) I’d never done an interview in Oztraylia, 3) this is a very cool internship that I really really want, and 4) I have a habit of placing my entire self worth on events such as this.
To top it all off, the interview was conducted by a Branch of Government (big deal: business attire + Those Shoes I Never Wear, compulsory), with three other Seniors from various media organizations. Two days before the interview, I got an email telling me where to go: corner of Colins and Sprung* Streets, as well as the names and details of the Interviewing Panel, which I had meant to google, but decided not to. This information will be relevant later on, so it would be good if you pay attention.
Thursday morning, I set my alarm at 9 (really, really early by Nadia’s Standards) and the interview was at 11:15.
Nadia snoozes for half an hour.
Nadia wakes up in full-blown dread at 9:30, switches on computer, makes coffee and takes a shower.
After her shower, she leans over the tub to reach for her towel, as she does every day, after every shower. This time, however, she slips, falls forward, and lands with her knees and elbows tangled together, precisely on the curve of the bathtub where, if you drop a bar of soap, it would slide to the other end of the tub, with the sound effect swiissh. Nadia, being slightly heavier than a bar of soap, slides back and forth in the tub, at least three times, with the sound effect squeeg, squeeg, squeeg. She stays in the tub for a second with the shock of the fall, half expecting more squeegs to come, then she gets up, not noticing the bruise on her leg that’s about to appear, and thinks, “Huh. Isn’t inertia funny?”
At 10, Nadia checks the relevant email again, confirming the address of the interview. Then she decides she really should print out those articles Mom had sent her via email, for the purposes of showing them off to the Interviewing Panel. Nadia is torn between asking the flatmate if she could use her printer in the midst of a cold war, or taking 10 minutes to walk to the nearest printing shop and doing it there. Decides that decision could wait while she dries her hair.
At 10 past 10, Nadia decides to go to the printing shop. Gets stuff printed.
At 10:30 Nadia gets on the tram with 45 minutes to get to the city. Plenty of time!
Just before 11, there was a great conspiracy involving all the trams on Colins Street. They’ve all decided to be simultaneously late, and mysteriously unavailable.
With little more than 5 dollars in her wallet, Nadia decides to hop in a taxi.
Now this is where Nadia makes Colossal Mistake Number One. Pay attention now, you ready?
With full confidence and near perfect enunciation, she tells the taxi driver to go to the corner of Colins and Spence Streets*. Which is the wrong street altogether. Which is, coincidentally, the other side of town.
At the corner of Colins and Spence I asked the taxi driver (Hussein from Egypt, nice guy) where the Relevant Street was. He didn’t know, so we checked the massive Melburn Directory together, and realized it was on the other side of the map. Did you know, it takes a lot of time to get from one side of the city to the other? Well it does, you’ll have to take my word for it. Of course all the traffic lights were red and all the other cars on the road were being stupid, all involved in the Great Conspiracy Against Nadia. But Hussein gave me a pep talk for my interview, and wrote an Arabic word on both my palms, ‘to give me calm and courage’. He drove me to the other side of town, without any charge. Then he wished me luck, and I was relatively calmer, but I was already 8 minutes late.
I walked in the interview room, hair frazzled, panting, trying to smile but more possibly squirming, oh gawd oh gawd four pairs of eyes staring at me.
I apologized for being late, in the most charming way I could muster, while the butterflies in my stomach made babies and multiplied themselves to a million times infinity.
To their credit, the Panel was nice, and smiled, and told me to catch my breath and “Relax, you’re here now.”
Then the questions began.
For the purposes of Not Jinxing It, I won’t detail the questions or my answers here. Suffice to say I answered most sufficiently, with minor stumbles and mental blanks.
An embarrassing moment came when one of them asked what, in my opinion, was the biggest news story of the day. I had to admit that I hadn’t had the chance to read the news that day. (But a few days ago, blah blah blah).
I was also asked if I’d noticed any positive portrayals of Muslims in the media (we had been talking about negative portrayals earlier). And I said I hadn’t noticed any in the news, but there is a breakthrough television show on the Public Channel called Salaam Corner*. There is an approving smile and nod from the Interviewing Panel… I feel assured that it was the right answer.
(Note: Salaam Corner is a panel format talk show which tries to portrays Muslims as intelligent and with a sense of humour, but in my opinion it tries way too hard.)
One guy in the panel remarked, with a smile, “That’s a terrible show!”
And I said something along the lines that I agree, the idea was good, but the execution could’ve been better, but maybe I wasn’t the target audience because I don’t find it funny.
I said all this without realizing that the guy who said it…
is actually a panel member…
on the show.
And his remark was probably meant to be a joke, thinking that I knew who he was.
Soon after I said that, a click went off in my head that I’ve seen him somewhere before. Then my brain just went Owhhh…. SHIT!!
SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT Headdesk, headdesk, headdesk, melt to a puddle and die.
“Minor stumbles”, she says. COLOSSAL DOOMIFYING MISTAKES, she thinks.
When it was over I thanked them for meeting me, they said thanks for coming, and the Representative from Government walked me out, and on the way out I saw the next candidate already waiting outside, in his business suit and business shoes, 15 minutes early, making me look bad, the bastard. In the lift the Government Lady asked what happened, why was I late, and I told her the story and showed her my hands. She laughed and was sympathetic. Then we shook hands, said goodbye, and she said I would get a call within the next two weeks if successful or not.
It wasn’t until I was already at a safe distance awaaaay from the building that I realized: I didn’t even remember to show them my articles that I’d printed earlier.
And it took a Japanese lunch with Chris, Chris and Linda, and another couple of days of junk food, bubbles and muzak, before I could even mention the interview without physically going Headdesk, headdesk.
And now, I guess we wait. Whatever happens, happens, and I tried my best under the circumstances. It would be awesome if I get this internship, but if not, I will try not to be completely devastated. Also, if I do get it, I think I will take out an ad in the local paper thanking Hussein from Egypt, who drove me across town for free, and wrote Arabic words on my hands, to give me calm and courage.
We’ve entered uncharted territory: a fight with the flatmate.
Over the last few days I’ve come to realize a very fundamental part of myself and Sybille.
It is in my nature to give in, always. I think maybe this has to do with being a big sister, which involves the ability to recognize when someone is less mature than myself, and the patience to let them grow in their own time. I think it maybe has something to do with my dislike of conflicts or confrontations of any kind.
On the other hand, it is in Sybille’s nature to take, always. And I would always give in, because I couldn’t be bothered to disagree, and all this worked fine for over a year, we had amusing times and got along great. The kitchen was always kept clean, the living room was filled with things she wanted to buy at Ikea (all of which I paid half for) and the hallway was filled with pictures of her and her friends (which I thought was narcissistic, but couldn’t be bothered minding). We still became good friends; she could always count on me to check her essays or lend a supportive ear, and I would always have someone to watch Desperate Housewives with. All was fine, until a misunderstanding last Saturday triggered in me a great wave of all the things she did that annoyed me, followed by a deafening pang of I-am-so-stupid-for-taking-all-that-crap.
On Saturday night, she wanted to go to a birthday party. But before that, she wanted to get a pizza and a dvd. We had Mariam and Chris over. I paid half for the pizza (because if I hadn’t, she wouldn’t have gotten it, even though I didn’t want it, classic Nadia Giving In Scenario) and after a “discussion” at the video store, we came to a “unanimous decision” to get a particular movie, which of course she’d wanted all along.
All was fine; the movie was watched, the pizza was eaten. And then she decided she didn’t want to go to the birthday party alone.
She asked Mariam (the second most anti-social person on the planet, after me) to go with her. Mariam didn’t want to, but said she would if I went as well. Better to be anti-social together, maybe. So Sybille asked (by which I mean not the least bit politely) me to go.
Since Chris was over and she had canceled her own plans that night to hang out, I thought it was incredibly unfair that Sybille had asked me or Mariam in the first place, at the very last minute before she wanted to leave.
Now, if it was aaaanyone else, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Anyone else would ask half-heartedly, maybe out of politeness, Heyy do you wanna go to this party? No? Okay then, see ya later!
But because it was Sybille, it was a matter of What It Means To Be A Good Friend. Come with me to this party! Pleeeease! I know you don’t like parties and don’t even know the person whose birthday it is, but you have to, HAVE to come with me because That’s What Friends Do! PLEEAAAASE?!
I said no anyway. But because Mariam had agreed, I didn’t want her to suffer alone. So I reached a pursed-lips-compromise with Chris; she would work on the computer, I’d go along to the party and be back in a couple of hours.
I’d already gotten dressed, and then Sybille, in a hissy fit, suddenly called Mariam and told her that I didn’t want to go and she didn’t have to either. “It’s fiiine,” she said, in a most victimly manner, “I can go by myself.”
And then, as if we had done something wrong, “It’s supposed to be a fun night, not one (whines) full of drama.”
Like, hello? Excuse me? As if we had ruined her night?
And this just annoyed me so much we’ve barely spoken ever since. I’ve mostly been out of the house, at friends’ places, on their couches. Two days ago I went home, said hello and she said hi, very curtly. Eventually I asked if she’s mad at me. She said yes, but she wanted to talk about it tomorrow (Tuesday).
I knew her boyfriend was coming over on Tuesday and we probably won’t talk, so I opted to leave the house again.
Yesterday I sent her an email explaining my side of the story and detailing most the things that upset me.
I don’t like being expected to be available for her every whim. I don’t like being told to clean the kitchen. I don’t like being made uncomfortable in my own home. I don’t mind the pictures, the traces-of-Sybille everywhere (her calendar in the kitchen, her pictures on the walls) but then don’t remove my things from the dining table and put them in my room, just because you happen to be cleaning at the time. I don’t mind your loud (bad hip-hop) music in the afternoons but then don’t tell me to turn down my music. I don’t mind you using my slippers without asking– hold, on.. actually, I DO mind, very much. And for gawdssake get your own reading lamp.
I sent her the email, she hasn’t replied, and I hate the idea of going home tonight, but I kinda have to.
I kinda have to go back to the apartment tonight, because I have an interview tomorrow.
The interview is for a media internship program, launched by a branch of government, and if successful, I will be working in a journalistic role, under supervision in a mainstream media outlet.
The interview will be conducted by a panel of five, consisting of senior management professionals from four big media organizations.
I kinda hyperventilate every time I think about it.
Watch me get so nervous I can’t sleep, and then show up to the interview with bloodshot eyes, possibly stopping at every bathroom on the way to throw up.