Tuesday, January 18, 2005

one year gone already...

another stop from my long series of post on My adventure as a fruit picker....

One year ago, on this 18th January, my friends and I arrived on the small Tullmarine International Airport ( Melbourne International Airport). The first group to arrive were the 7 JPA scholars which included me of course and the rest 13 Mara scholars which only arrived late at night.

I still remembered exactly what happened on those day. There were many obstacles for all of us to resolve before we took those flight from KLIA to Melbourne. One month previously, that was on December, our application for accommodation at BGH (one of the affliated accommodation at Melbourne University) were rejected. Not that we were bad people *sigh*, but BGH were to undergo massive renovation. So massive that until today, it never manage to finish.

Thus, all 20 of us got together and consulted our scholars. Initially, JPA and Mara allow all of us to stay at College Square but then, after several unexpected and unforeseen bureaucracy problem, JPA scholars were stranded to be left homeless while Mara Scholars managed to apply for College Square. Thus, all 7 of us were deep in forlorn as if we were forsaken by JPA to be left homeless at Melbourne. To add to that, we were among the last of KMB batch to fly overseas since many of UK and Ireland bound student already fly on Sept and October the previous year.

Then, we tried to apply to stay at Melbourne Malaysia Hall. We managed to get the accommodation but that was only temporary. We have to find permanent accommodation after three weeks. It was already one week left before our departure. What a big despair that had befallen upon us =(

Then, out of nowhere, one of my friends at Monash University called me from Melbourne and asked about our fate on our accommodation. After telling him all the details, he offered his help to find our accommodation at Melbourne. Three day left before our departure. Can he do it?

Last day before our departure, my friend called me in late evening and told me that our accommodation have been found. All thanks to God, Alhamdulillah...eventually we were not homeless after all. But that was for the boys. The girls managed to get one of the seniors at Melbourne to find their house.

Our flight was on Friday night 17th January while Mara students was on Saturday morning 18th January. At 8.30 pm, Friday...all 7 of JPA scholars received their last briefing from Mr Yusri, the JPA officer for Australian students. After all the hussle and bussle, finally we were given our flight ticket.

I still remembered on that night, many people gathered, many of those shed tears when we walked to the gate. I never shed one bit of tear :D My family members all were there and including my grandmother and my grandfather who have just recovered from brain tumour and prostate cancer. I hugged them for the last time. I received many advice from my beloved father and mother. I asked my brother and sister to strive harder for their studies and try to emulate my performance. I am after all, the eldest in my family and none of my siblings have ever outdo my performance, yet I hope one day, they will beat my performance. Insha-Allah, if God will.

As I walked to the counter to verified my pasport electronically, I gave my last look on my family. Here goes nothing...I swapped my passport across the electronic detector followed by my friends.

Since most of us were the first-time travellers, we toured around the airport after boarding the fast-train (I forgot what it was called). We went to one of the fast-food outlet and bought our food there. Then, we walked to our gate. We saw our aeroplane but we decided to finish our food first before boarding the plane. Slowly and tardily we ate the food while waiting the queue at the custom counter to finish.

"Last call to 7 people for KL-Melbourne flight, we will close the gate in a couple of minute, can you hurry up"
"Isn't that suppose to be us?"
"Erk! I think so"
"Come on guys, finish our food now! Faster!"

We were the last people to board the plane. The staff there gave us a stern and unappeasable look. Indirectly, they decried and excoriate our action. Whoa, what an experience! =)

8 hours later, on the morning of 18 January, our plane touched down at Tullmarine Airport, Melbourne. After 8 hours of playing game, watching boring TV, sleeping, eating, sleep again then sleep all the way ;) at last, I arrived at the long-awaited Melbourne. We waited for almost 8 months just to get to Melbourne. Never am I to forget the 8 month-long 'holiday' @ boredom @ what-else-to-do-now @ d0-we-have-university-placement @ are-we-there-yet etc.....

After walking through all those custom and imigration thingy, I walked out of the airport at 8.30 am. We saw our friend and Mr Fuad, officer from Malaysia Hall who have been waiting for us.

Then, we put all of our heavy luggages on the car and van then went straight to our accommodation. Yet, on the way, one of car were fined by the policement because it was parked on the forbidden place. Whoa..What a day to start with and it was the first day here at Australia, are we run out of luck already? Can't imagine that though ;)

We, the 4 boys of JPA scholars were taken to our house that was located not far from the airport. It was already a year now in this big house. This house had gave me lots of good and bad experience and it had taught me lot of things such as learning to finance better with our not-too-much-and-not-too-few allowance (as if we can ask the sponsor to increase the monthly allowance, hehe).

i think this post is already long, hopefully it does not exceed the level of novel written by JRR Tolkien ;) ...for those who are pretty concern on the length of my post :)

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