Monday, July 2, 2012
I flew into Singapore on Wednesday June 27, 2012. I got checked into my hotel and dropped my passport off at the agent who the school uses to get the visas process. It was very simple and only took like 5 minutes. I was able to walk there from my hotel. Then I walked down to the Centerpoint on Orchard Road. I picked up an alarm clock and a few tops. Then I went over and had Quizno's for dinner and Cold Stone for dessert. After that I went back to my hotel and watched some movies. On Thursday I did some more shopping for items I needed like dress pants. It was hard to find ones that were long enough even if they fit me. I went and watched two movies at two different malls. The first one I watched was "Snow White and the Huntsmen" and the second was "Men in Black 3." Both were good movies and ones that I had wanted to see. I went to my favorite place Fandangos for a late dinner and finished off by going and getting gelato for dessert. On Friday I did more shopping as I had not been super successful the day before so was trying a mall I had never been to before. I found all the rest of the things that I needed. Then I went back to Fandango's for dinner. Since I had told the guy the night before that I was going to be back that night he knew I was coming. They were really busy, but they pulled a chair up to the bar inside and I ate there by myself. It was nice and I didn't mind. Then it was back to pack my stuff. This trip was not too exciting as I had to do shopping and I don't like shopping. I find it more tiring than sightseeing. It had to be done though. On Saturday I got up and to the airport to head to Surabaya.
My last week of my time was very packed and was a mix of emotions. Monday the 18th of June was last day of practice at the school for graduation the next evening. On Tuesday we had graduation practice at the hotel. The MC forgot her script at school and when we first arrived the hotel hadn't turned on the a/c or had any people there to set up the microphones or anything. So we just had to hang out for awhile. We ran through the songs and graduation a few times and then the owner came to watch. One he was satisfied we were able to leave and go back to the school. Afternoon was filled with more practicing of the music. That evening after I had gotten ready my friends came to pick me up as we had to go early since the husband had to finish setting things up for graduation. We went to this sidewalk cafe next to MS Garden hotel where the graduation was going to be held. I got a hambuger as our dinner was going to be very late. The inside was still raw so I didn't eat it. We went up early and finished getting things ready. Graduation was suppsed to start at 8:00p.m. as that is after one of the prayer times. Just like last year we had people that came after 8 so we didn't start until closer to 8:30p.m. We did it a little different this year. We did the International parade where all the students introduce themselves first. This year the student went up on the stage to the center, so that everyone in the audience could see them since that was a complaint last year. Then we watched this years video recapping the year. After that there was the music of ESL class, Middle School Music, and then Malay. They have always done the music performances on a small side stage while the owner, board of directors, and teachers sst on the stage. This year they did the performances on the center stage while we stayed down in the audience, because we have grown so much the groups were too big to be crowded on to the side stage in the corner. It was much nicer since the focus was on them and not us. Also, it was nice to be able to watch the performances from the front instead of from the back. After the three songs were over then the owner, board of directors, and teachers went up on the stage. We were up there for the speeches, award certificates and diplomas being given. The students were more bored and disrespectful this year. They didn't even pay attention or sit in their seats until we got to giving out the awards and they had to pay attention to their names being called. During the rest of the time they were taking pictures, talking and playing games on their devices. Many of the parents weren't paying attention either. Then after that there was the picture taking session. The photographer that they have always used said that the group was too big now to do us all in one photo. So it was split up middle school and high school with the staff, etc. Then it was time for dinner which was again at 10:00p.m. like last year. The salad and soup was good. I got beef again. Instead of being overcooked and hard to eat like last year it was raw, so I still didn't eat it. Then there was dessert which was good. I went around and took pictures during the dinner. After that it was time to go home and go to bed since the next day was school. I got home and into bed about midnight. Wednesday and Thursday were just half days for the students. We just hung out in the morning. We didn't do house games this year as everyone was tired and ready for the school year to be over. Not many of the students showed up anyway. In the afternoon we did lunch and then visited and I cleaned out my classroom area. On Wednesday we went for Nasi Cocous which some of the locals haven't had, but I have had before. I also went out with a co-worker to Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt one last time after school was over for teachers on Wednesday. On Thursday we went to Sara Thai for lunch. It is the great Thai restaurant that I love and they always have great fish. Most of the teachers were able to come with. Thursday evening the lady who has been driving me to and from school this whole year invited me out for pizza and salads at La Casa a new restuarant. It was a nice time. It was her, her son, and her foreign exchange student from Germany. Friday was the last day of school. We got the yearbook at the beginning of the day and spent at least an hour signing yearbooks. After that the middle school had their award session and then high school had theirs. Next, was the party which was really just cake and more signing of yearbooks. At the very end report cards were given out before students had to rush off for Friday prayers. I had to wait for my ride so I was the last one there. Three of my middle school students gave me a hug before they had to catch the bus. Others said good-bye but we have talked about this for months, so they know I was not going to be changing my mind and I already know that they will miss me and wished I wasn't leaving, so there was no big to do. After school I worked on final preparations. That evening I got invited to another friend's house for dinner and a movie. I got to see "Mirror Mirror". We talked until late. Saturday I got up early and cleaned my room and finished packing the last of my things. Right after I got done then the landlord had a guy come service my a/c so I had to to a little bit of cleaning up again after the guy left. My friends came in the afternoon to get me and my stuff, plus the rest of the stuff I was giving them. We went out for lunch since I didn't have any food left. I went in the evening with my friend one last time to the Swiss Garden Resort while she played piano so that I could enjoy it one last time. Sunday I got up and went to the Buddhist Temple with another friend one last time and hung out while she was teaching classes. It was nice there. I saw ten otters come out of their den while I was outside relaxing. I don't think anyone else noticed because they were all being noisy and feeding the fish and turtles. Then we met up with another friend for lunch at Witchery Ider. I was able to have my favorite dish and pearl or bubble tea one last time. After that they dropped me at the house of the friends I am staying at and visited for awhile. Then it was a short time before we went off to the home of the Director of Studies for dinner with him and his wife. Their kids were there and they played with my friends' daughter. It was a nice time. We were there for a long time and were ready for bed after that. In the middle of the night I woke up and the power was out because of a storm. It was so hot in the room I stay in that I couldn't sleep and my ears were ringing really loudly. After it came back on I slept well until it was time to get up and get ready for another set of friends coming over for a lunch I made and to say good bye to me. It was a nice time. Of course, time went by too fast. After that I watched a movie and just hung out with my friends. On Tuesday I got up and went to sign for my June paycheck for and turn in my keys for my room and ran other errands. We went for a walk on the beach about sunset. We saw two large jellyfish that must have come in with high tide and got stuck up on the beach. Tuesday night we went out for roti tissue and teh tarik tea one last time. Wednesday I got up and finished packing the last of my things that I needed to use that morning to shower and then I made a quick call on Skype so my Mom and Dad could say hi to my friends and then it was off to the airport. While waiting another teacher showed up and the Director of Studies and his wife also showed up, so I had several people at the airport to see me off and wish me the best. It was nice, but at the same time very sad. I know I left part of my heart in Kuantan with some of the people who are my friends and I am so glad they came into my life.