Tuesday, April 12, 2011

200th day in the UK

Having been in the UK for the 200th day, I feel that I should remind myself what I have had gained so far.

Coming to the UK for my Master is a big decision. No. A bold decision. But a decision that I did not regret. After exposing myself to the world for 200 days, I am not as naive as before, if not more. I've met more people than I ever do, people from all over the world, all ages and all kinds of character. The funny ones, the bold type, the clever ones, the witty ones, the elegant kind, the friendly ones and of course, there is those hardworking ones. I realised an important element of making friends with these people. We get to share our cultures and understand each other country and background more. Now, at least I can say I contributed to the fact that lesser people believe that Malaysian and people who lives on the tree.

Ok, joke aside.

People I met here shares the similar interest. We are all designers and artist. Everyone have a passion in their arts and I am really surprise to see the amount of passion they have. It actually amazed me. It is only when I chatted with them that I realised how small my world had been.

I've got a classmate that I would remember for life. She is from Botswana. A country I've never ever heard before. The first time I saw her, I know that she is friendly. She smiles all the time and talk everything with so much enthusiasm. I've never met anyone like her. She does not come from a pure design background like some of us. She is more towards the business and management type. Unlike many of us, she have exams and written many papers. She don't do models and cut her fingers with the bloody cutter like me  and never use a CAD software for her work. She don't sit around for ages solving design problem for some bloody products.

However, I admire her for doing all the above for the pass 200 days I've known her.

She comes up with a set of design, go into the workshop, get dirty and tired, making her products. Spent the time in front of the computer, working endlessly to get to know the CAD software. She has got a strong mind. Eventhough she is struggling, once she aim to do it, she did it. She is tough.

There's another classmate of mine that remind me of the chinese proverb, 真人不露相. He is the 1st person I met when I went into the class for the 1st day. He sit at the couch with his laptop. We exchanged a 'Hi' and that's it. I am so nervous that first day that I don't remember what I thought of him. But I remember thinking I've got a bunch of good classmates. That's all.

He is very smart. He did everything in detail and simple. He managed to make all of us 'wow' when he tell us about his work. It is nothing fancy nor special but it is the way he puts it that makes me think, "this is really good!" He is from Shanghai. He is into Slow Design. You would be surprised at the amount of research he had done for his project. He had a solid background in Product Design as that's his major. He had been working in an international company for some years before coming to the UK. For some reason, I think that his thought are really independent and matured. And no, he is just older than me about 3 years. This guy in my opinion are really different from the rest of us. While everyone of us are like struggling with concepts and such, he is relax and laid back. He seems to know what he is doing and what he wants to achieve. I would be proud to tell people that this guy is my friend if I saw him showing his proud smile in somewhere someday. He will be 'someone'.

My another classmate is from Thailand. I don't remember my first impression of her as I don't speak to her a lot at first. I am the shy shy and silent silent type. She is another of my gang. So, how is two person of the same kind to talk a lot? Haha.. However, we grow to be quite chatty in a matter of time and now we talk a lot and laugh at all kind of absurd things. She is the kind of designer that would come up with something interesting. Her research are interesting and she is another one who knows what she wants. I always admire people like this. Another with a solid background in Product Design, she is able to produce work that make us all cram around her shoulder to have a peek.

While she never mentioned it, after she is back from her Christmas break from Thailand, she brought back 100 pieces of fully answered and analysed questionnaires. All of us just 'O' our mouth. This is another designer who diam diam ubi type.. Planning to utilise Thailand handicraft skills, her products are going to be a hit within the western community.

Oh, not to forget the other guy designer classmate. Like the others, he is from a Product Design background as well and therefore had no problem with many of the manufacturing process and blah blah blah not like me who did not know what is a CNC and precision. Coming from Taiwan, he decided to do contribute to the environment and design some space saving furniture. While at first he is quite constrain in his ideas, now, his work are the best among us. He might not show much but in fact, he has a lot of great ideas waiting to be dig out.

He is the one among us that make sketch models to show our lecturers and this interest everyone. In my opinion, what he is doing, is what I have been expected before I came here. Instead, everyone seems to talk and discuss a lot about an idea or a philosophy but not the design. Term 1 come and pass and nothing about the design. Only him. Although there is a lot of improvement to be done to his design according to the lecturer, but he did come up with designs.

Lastly, there is another addition to our group but up until now, I still do not really know what is her project all about. I grab the word 'Logistic' 'Manufacturing' and 'Costing' somewhere though. She is not from a design background as well. More towards engineering path. She is from Spain. I am quite friendly with her as she is very nice. We talked a lot. However, her project is too difficult for me to understand. Nothing about design. I think I am too stupid to understand hers.

That's my classmates for the year. A bunch of friendly gang.

Now, about other people that I've met, some is from Fashion and Marketing, Fine Art, Photography, Graphic Design, Film and Television and others. It will be too long to describe about them and I am sure no one would want to read about it. Anyway, to get to know this people really tweak my interest in arts and design. I feel I have rediscovered the art and design world. It is so fascinating to listen to their idea and what are they doing about their projects. It is totally different from what I have been doing so years. Well, I sound like I've been in the industry for many years while in fact, it's only 9 months. Anyway, some of them work with clay, porcelain, glass and some mix them all together to form another thing. Isn't that interesting? And the idea behind that.

Oh dear..I had been going on rambling about people I've met. Maybe I should just go on to another topic?

200 days in the UK. 

I have learned to be independent and I just realised that I cannot be sharing rooms with other people. I could not tolerate other people untidiness while I can tolerate my own. I just hate my kitchen, especially the sink and hob area. My flatmates seldom never clean up after them. They tend to leave them in the sink for days weeks. They do not clean the hob after they cook until the flat inspection day. From a sparkling white hob to a grubby black hob, it only takes about 2 days the most. I am really tired of cleaning after them that I stop helping to clear the sink and scrub the hob after them since early this year.

During Christmas break, all of them went home. I am the only one left in the flat and I am so happy. I have the whole kitchen to myself. Clean for a month. When I am the ony one using the kitchen, I am able to keep the sink clear of any dishes, the hob sparkling white as I clean after I cook, the floor dry and clean as I wipe them often. When my flatmate return, only 1 of them at first, after the 1st hour, I walked into the kitchen and I saw the sink already have a habitant. 1 small teaspoon was already sitting there, ready to be clean and put back into the drawer. Just the 1st hour, and there's already something. I do not dare to tell you what happened next in case you lose your appetite and blame it on me. You get what I mean now.

200 days in the UK. 

I am now improving my English. Up until I came here, I could tell people that I am confident with my English. However, once I'm here, I feel so foolish. Yes, I understand them perfectly. But, to them my English must seems like a preschooler. Speaking is difficult. It is alright in Malaysia when all we speak is Rojak English. Everyone understand each other rojak. Here, I often make a fool of myself when I had to repeat myself few time before they understand. This is embarrassing. The problem is the slang. I do not speak the same slang as them and they do not understand Rojak slang. What to do?

Eventhough it had been 200 days, I still can't speak the way they do. I tried and even I shivered when I listened to myself speak so weirdly. Still, I hope my English did improve themselves. Afterall, it had been 200 days.

200 days in the UK.

I learned to be alone. It is a tough lesson in life. Slowly though, I am getting used to it. However, I still wish I have someone to talk to at night in my room. Someone to laugh with. All I had is my laptop and dramas. When PPS stop streaming TVB drama, my world nearly crumpled and crushed down. Luckily my brother send me a link to DL.. My world is saved.

To tell the truth, sometime I enjoy being alone. When I am enjoying my dramas, I like to be leave alone. However, I do not like to be alone all the time. Sometime I really wish I am back home, with my family, and I can talk anytime. Now, I can only talk when I am at Uni. More than half of the time, my mouth is kept shut. Unless of course, to eat, which I did very often.

200 days in the UK.

Being here as a Master student, no one is going to tell you that you are doing something wrong. Because to them, nothing is wrong. The project is something you propose and you are going to realise it. They will just give you some thoughts or 'yes' 'good' 'interesting' words. Lecturers here encourage you to proceed. While my background from KBU had been the opposite.

At first, I feel very positive of the encouragement I've got from them. Now, I began to hate that. At times, I think that the locals sometime are being so 'smiley' face. They agree to everything and call you 'dear', 'darling', 'love' eventhough you are just paying at the cashier and you don't know them. I know it is the way and they are showing friendliness and I am not saying they are not right. But, to me, I began to not know when they are being sincere at showing their love and appreciation and praise and when they are not.

My lecturers never disagree with me. At the beginning, I feel that is a fresh, since I would not be criticize but after time and time of agreement and word of praising, I couldn't differentiate whether or not they really think it is good. I never know for real what I am doing now is the in the right path or not since they kept saying that is fine. They say fine to everything. Everything is fine? How can that be?

Me in the workshop

200 days in the UK.

I have been to London for Christmas break. A week in London make me realised that I am wise to choose to study in Nottingham. If I were to be at London, I will be long broke and back in Malaysia with clothes and items not necessary. Experience snow storm in London and it is damn cold. Walking around shivering is really an experience not to forget.
Me with Mr Big Ben

Went to Manchester to meet Siew Hon and his friends. Visit the famous football stadium Manchester United. Not interested in any sports but the stadium. Afterall, thousand of people are watching this stadium in the TV around the world. And I really want to step my foot in these famous place.

Me inside the MU stadium

Visit Cambridge for a day by car. A real experience since I've never travelled by car in the UK. Thanks to my classmate from Spain that have her car and willing to drive us for the day trip. Amazed with the Cambridge city as all the building are so beautiful. Really different with Nottingham. Bicycle everywhere. University and churches everywhere. It's really beautiful.

Fiola, Elitzza and Me at Cambridge

Took a 1 hour bus to Derby two weeks ago. Spent the afternoon taking photos of everything. Derby is small and nothing special. Quite similar to Nottingham city centre but it is refreshing to be at another place for one day.

IMO, Derby most beautiful statue

Legoland last weekend. Windsor is a nice place. Legoland is fun. Being a child for a day really refreshes me. Everything is fun and colourful and simple. Nothing complicated and that's the way life should be. Since life is short, why worry ourselves about every little things?

Legoland most funny man

In another 2 weeks, I will be travelling to Paris and spent 3 days strolling Paris romantic street. I hope it live up to my expectation.

Travelling is really an eye opening experience. I've seen so many things that I would only be able to see in books previously. The most memorable of all up till now would have to be the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Old Trafford. Big Ben wins the 1st place.



Isak.J said...

Hello pink Cassie, Isak here, just inform you I forward this to my Chinese Facebook, I really like it~~

Cassie the Missy said...

Hi Isak! Haha.. thanks for liking! ^^