Wednesday, July 20, 2011

London, the Internship

This is the post that I will review what my feelings about this Internship at the United Kingdom.

Coming to an overseas summer research project has been my dream since I knew about Caltech SURF from Tao Ye who just came back from there to continue on her year 4. A bit late for the usual schooling time, but just nice timing to catch up very fast. I was a freshman then.

I planned so many modules and programmes for myself that I had to take at least 6 modules in NUS every semester, and no way I'm going to go for SEP (Student Exchange Programme). A summer exchange programme is too expensive, and the two other overseas trips (BIA and CHIP) I had the fortune to join in while in NUS are too short (2 weeks).

So this is truly the first time I've ever spend so long overseas (I count Singapore and Malaysia as my home by now) and living alone. It's 10 weeks now, 2 more weeks to go. And thus I have achieved one of my dreams. Thanks to NUS, Imperial College, Hariom, SongHan, and my parents!

In this summer, I had also fulfilled one of my childhood dream of playing Pokemon for real (using the official handheld device) at least before I eventually lose interest in it. Well, seeing that adults rarely play games, I take it that they are a boring species to grow into. Part of the reason I'm still so childish. Now I kinda understand that some adults do play games too, while most seek their pleasure from romantic encounters and a life partner.

Currently I have largely finished Pokemon Black, starting on with Pokemon SoulSilver, and ordered Pokemon Platinum. That's the 3 games I'll play.

Also I've not expected to meet so many friends that I've already known in the United Kingdom during the period that I'm here.

First off it is Carmen.... I guess I didn't realised or care that she when to United Kingdom for SEP. I just knew she's in SEP. So I was kinda like, oh Carmen is in UK too right? Will I get to meet her there? Only after I got the Imperial offer for some time.

Strictly speaking this is not considered as my friend that I knew before, but.... Then my dad's friend, Uncle Kok Heng invited me for a dinner! It was nice. I went to his home too!

And now for the more Imperial side of the story, my cousin, Jia Long is still an Imperial student but.....just nice that he's in USA doing one year exchange and we completely miss each other while I'm in his College....... But then.... his sister, Ting Hui had graduated from Manchester's University and is coming back for work just before I leave. So at least I get to meet one of my cousins.

Then there's of course my Secondary School friends. Ming Wang, who is an Imperial guy! He just when back and introduced me to Franciscans in the UK. Amazing, just how much link there are. And then I found out (embarrassingly) that two other of my Sec School friends who are Franciscans too are in UCL and LSE respectively. (Haven't meet them through)

And now closer to NUS again, Wei Ling came with her parents to London and then to Cambridge for a similar summer intern (shorter than mine). And I get to meet her here at London and at Cambridge when I visited her.

This is not in United Kingdom, but I'll say it still..... Also the SPS gang (including Wei Ling) where I've met my previous room-mate, Hariom, IPhO buddy, Mukhtar, pre-IPhO friend, Tuan Beng, the usual handsome Sandoko, the eating champion Raymond, and tall Wei Guo. Didn't get to see Barry, Yee Ann, and Chern Hui..... but it's cool. Oh and it's during my two days weekend trip to France!

And now I got word that Tzyh Haur (fellow SPS senior, friend) is coming to London! Haha... nice....just amazing how nice a timing I had here.......

Speaking about timing, here are a few amazing events that I've visited since coming to UK. They are just so near and timely that I can't miss it!

  1. Pokemon National Championship UK at Birmingham.
  2. Rubiks Cube world record (London), 330 people solving in 1 hour at the same place, I was one of them, got a free cube too.
  3. Flash mob meditation in London. Went for 2 already, going for the third one just before I leave.
  4. BERSIH 2.0 rally (London), just sending our Prime Minister before he goes off to Rome. This is where I met so many more Malaysians in the UK!
Cool timing huh? I didn't expect these to happen while I'm here. But since they did, it's just amazing to join in!

The experience of guarding my wealth and not overspending, in fact, recording down all my expenses so that I don't have to transfer money from Singapore is just harrowing and offers a real insight into what does it means to worry about money. Now that I can clearly see I'm successful in saving lots of money, I'm a bit less worried about this part.

Taking about saving money, cooking meals has been a wonderful experience. However, cooking the same thing for the same person (me) can get boring easily. So, not only do I keep on improving my cooking skills and materials (now my soup taste so good, you'll want some), I'm looking forward to cook for others to enjoy! I kinda understand how a housewive/husband feels like now!

Travelling on foot is one more thing I get to do a lot in the UK. I get to rediscover the passion for travelling (on foot) in me. This is one thing that I love about London!

On the negative side, (to balance out too many perceived positives here) I am interacting with Buddhism far too little favour of comic books..... read almost all the Marvel Ultimate Universe comic books already!

And I'm a bit lonely, didn't make much friends here. Anyway I needed some time for myself. To think, to talk to myself. This is important for the things I'll need to face when I come back to Singapore.

So with three more weeks to go before school reopens, I need to focus on what's up ahead: To finish my work in Imperial and to prepare for my Final Year Project in NUS!

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