Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bid Farewell & Good Luck

It is almost time to say goodbye, again. Sometimes that's what life is all about, saying "hi" and then "bye", and "hi" again then... People call it 'the circle of life'.

I recall half a year ago I left my beloved family and friends.

I said goodbye to my fellow Toastmaster Club members.

I said goodbye at the fairwell parties.

I said goodbye at the airport.

Then, I said hi to my host family.

Now, I have to bid farewell to two gorgeous girls who are leaving US next month. I have known them since I am here and they are really kind-hearted and being so nice to me. They are going to complete the program and fly back to their home country very soon...
They are YiLing from Malaysia and Jan from Thailand. We have had good time together and I believe we will see each other again in the future. Good luck girls.

And later, it's time to say goodbye to my host family. I always feel so blessed to know them and able to join their family. I always complain the kids to Chia whenever I have hard time with them. I thought it would be good to leave them until today...

I sent Harriet, the little girl who always need a lot of attention and being demanding, to summer camp at her school this morning. She went down from the car and said goodbye to me. I looked at her walking towards the door with her back facing me. Out of the sudden, I realised that I actually love her. The feeling of love is growing unknowingly all this while and I never realise it until it is almost time to leave. Of course, I love the artistic, independent and gentle little 9-year-old boy, Woods, too. I never know the feeling can grow this fast and deep. I cannot imagine when the actual leaving day comes...

My host parents, the best Americans that I ever know. They are too good to be true. :)

Meanwhile, Chia and I are preparing to move on to our future. We still have a lot of things to work on. Challenges are waiting in front. We need courage to face them all.

Although I have to leave different people that I love again and again, but I know there is still a person whom I always hold hands with, no matter what is it waiting in front of us.
Chia, can you see that? I can see the palm trees in California now...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Up and Down

Another regular morning. I am sitting in the kitchen as usual and watching drama online. It is late spring and almost summer now but today's weather is cold. It has been always 70 degree Fahrenheit and above for last few weeks until yesterday, it hits the new low of about 50F. It reminds me of winter when I was first here. It has been more than six months since I am here...

Half a year, six months, 200 days. Without my realising, time flies. Looking back to these days, what have I done? I am in my early twenties now but what am I doing here? I heard and read some news from my ex classmates and it seems that they are doing real good. They are able to afford their own cars, they have enough money to "temporary retire" for few months and travel abroad, they have their own CAREER and moving closer to their dreams each day. What do I have? What have I achieved? I cannot afford to spend another six months for this...


I was so down and couldn't even continue writing this. I stopped and called a friend. Thanks a lot Jacky, I feel much better after talking to you. You are right, treasure every moment that I have and always think positively. I have learned all these long time ago but sometimes just forgot and focus on the wrong side of an issue. Thanks for reminding me the purpose of life is to live to the fullest, no matter under what circumstances.

I am able to smile again :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Adventurous Trip to SIX FLAGS

I used to watch Discovery Channel with my little brother when I was in Malaysia. There are a few times we got to watch the program talking about the roller coasters. We were so excited and kept on saying they are so scary and thought that we were going to have heart attack if we went up there. Besides, we used to play a PC game named "Roller Coasters Tycoon" and built our own theme park with different kinds of thrill rides. I never thought of I would have the chance to get on to the real and exactly the same roller coasters as we built in the tycoon game.

There is a worker man who is working in construction at my foster family's house, told me about a place which is only 40 minutes away from my house. It is Great Adventure Park of Six Flags. He showed me all the thrilling rides and suggested me to go there. I said it was a crazy idea and it was impossible for me to get on any of those rides. I told Chia about it but I never know that she could get so excited and insisting to go there. OMG, Chia...

Then... We went!

Yes, two of us. ONLY two of us.

When we got there, we saw those crazy rides were at least 10 storeys height of a building. I told Chia it was impossible for me to get in to any of those rides. Chia said I am "chicken"! Hey, guess what? She was the one who refused to get on to some rides later on and I was the one who became braver and kept on encouraged her. Haha!

Here are some photos of those rides and we got on to some of them. It was weekend and so crowded. Basically we need to queue for an hour for a ride.

Like my mom always said, "Why you guys like to pay and yet torturing yourselves with those rides?" She is right. Chia and I were so scared but yet kept on encouraging each other to get on to those thrill rides. I do not know whether you have the same experience but everytime when we were queueing for a ride, there are always a lot of conflicts and struggle. We were so nervous and apprehensive but still, we wanted to get on to those rides.

This was our first ride right after we got in the park. Its name was "Batman & Robins". It was a super fast ride with 70mph (about 120kmph) and 20 stories elevation. I couldn't believe that I actually got on to it. It was super fun though.

It only took less than one minute for this ride. It was really fast. We feel relief after we got down. Then we headed for the second ride, third, fourth...

Besides those rides, the park is really a beautiful place. Here are some photos taken at kids' park.

There are people who being hired to wear those fancy clothes as the characters of the cartoons (most of them from Acme Hour, Cartoon Network).

The "Golden Kingdom" of the park was an extremely beautiful place. I love there a lot.

There was a wooden roller coaster named "El Toro" in this kingdom and Chia said it was the scariest ride among those rides that we were on. This El Toro was the roller coaster that I used to build in the PC tycoon game. It was exactly the same.

There are still places that we have no time to go and play. Therefore we are going to back there again. I believe it won't take too long for us to revisit there. It was such an excitement and adventurous trip! If you were the fans of roller coasters, this is the place that you MUST go, at least once in a life time.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I have been going to bartending school for the last two weeks. I do not feel right if I do not write anything about it.

It was like three weeks ago when Chia suddenly called me and said, "Zoe, do you know that bartender can earn quite a lot? Maybe we should try this job when we finish our aupair life..." Then she told me she found a few bartending schools in different areas. I immediately have very high interest in this topic and started doing the research about bartending schools. I called to a few schools and ask the fees and schedules. Finally, I found one which is really "worth" (cheapest) among all of the others and it was just about 25minutes away from my house. I went for interview and being accepted, and then I started my student life. At least I am able to change my status to a "to-be bartender" instead of "aupair".

For your information, I like to drink. I only drink everytime when I meet with Chia. I need to emphasize this, just for your understanding. I do not like to drink alone and I am not addicted to drink at all. I just like to drink when I meet with friends, especially good friends. Chia is a "Drinking Queen" now as compare with last time. She can drink more and more and hard to get drunk.

Everytime whenever we went out for a drink, we do not know what to order, even with a menu. We would look at the menu for a long long time and simply called one. Even after we ordered some drinks, we have no idea what is it looks like, how it tastes and what are the ingredients inside. I feel excited when I have the chance to know more about liquors, cordials and the knowledge of mixology. I am now got to know what kind of liquors or cordials inside the drinks whenever I order them. I know different kind of juice drinks, sour drinks, creme drinks, martini and manhattan, ice tea drinks, layered drinks, blended drinks, drinks on the rocks and many more. It was exiting to know all these but not for the exam though.

I have to memorise more than 100 different kinds of drink receipes. I need to take both written and practical test before I can get my certificate for being a bartender. Besides the receipes, I need to know different kinds of liquors like Whiskey (American, Bourbon, Canadian, Irish and Scotch), Vodka, Tequila, Brandy (Cognag), Gin and Rum. Those are six basic liquors which there are still a lot of different brands and different kinds of liquors under them. Besides, I need to know different kinds of Cordials, the origin of the cordials and their flavors. These are really killing me! Anyway, I am really have high interest in them so the studying process is not as hard.

After going to school for two weeks time and completed my 40 hours of practical and lecture, I finally have the chance to take my test today. I was just on time today to take my exam because I needed to rush to McCaffrey to get more cup cakes for the kid's birthday (which is uncessary but being asked to do so anyway) at the early morning. I then being stopped by the police because of speeding. Luckily he was a nice guy and just giving me a warning. (This was the 5th time I was being stop by the police since I am here in US) Because I was just on time, I had no time to study when I got there.

The passing marks for written test is 84%. We need to retake the exam if we get the marks lower than that. For the practical part, we cannot make more than four mistakes. (If you happen to mix only one wrong liquor or cordial into a drink, you are considered making one mistake) Besides remembering the receipes, we still need to know what glassware to use, what garnish to put and the way of making them. There is a session which required us to make shots, about 2 to 8 shots. In this session, we need to make the drinks in mixing glass and then pour into tin before pouring into the shot glasses. The challenge of this part is that the amount of the liquor need to be just full for the shot glasses, not more or less. Sounds hard? Oh ya!

The good news is, I pass!! I am so happy that I do not need to retake. My result was consider good compare with those "guai lou". At least I could make every given drinks with only some minor mistakes. (Not more than three minor mistakes and none of the drinks were wrong. Yeah!) Please just give me some space to express my happiness here.. At least this is a very good news for me after all these while... Hehe!
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