Moving is second nature to me. It’s in my blood. Being a banker’s daughter, I’ve packed, been shuttled around and seen enough carton boxes and duct tape to last me a lifetime. And I’m only 19, for crying out loud.
Coming to university hasn’t made much of a difference. Well, it has, but not in the way I would’ve liked it to. Ironically enough, I now move even more than I used to in my school days – instead of once in three years, it’s now once in four months. And the best part is that one out of every two shifts is back to the same friggin’ room as before. Sheesh.
Anyway, come July and I’ll be moving again. Out of my comfortable space in my brother and sister-in-law’s place, where I’ve been bumming for the semester holidays, and back into hostel territory. The term “hostel territory” used to stand for Prince George’s Park, my abode for the past two years, but this year, my friends and I will be moving to another hostel, purely on the basis of convenience. It’s not a big deal – just a move from one place of residence in the university to another – but for a multitude of reasons, it doesn’t feel so trivial. It feels like a move away from home (which is ironic, considering it was in PGP that all of us had our first pangs of homesickness). So while it’s exciting to wonder what adventures our stay in the new hostel will bring us, it’s still painful to say goodbye to the place that housed us in our most vulnerable years, and gave us so many wonderful memories to cherish.
So, as a tribute-of-sorts to our (now ex-) home away from home – a picspam! And if this isn’t proof of how much I love the place, the fact that I’m doing a picspam with a subpar wireless connection should seal all doubts. Yes? Ok then.
Georgie’s Mart. The place to go for anything. Anything you need in a hurry, that is. NTUC and Mustafa are cheaper, even though they’re located much farther away. (And yes, that is a vital consideration for hostel students. At least the ones not on scholarship.)
This is the building’s UFO pad. Aliens often come over to the hostel during exam times to absorb the brain power of a thousand studious studying students, so they can use it to fuel their space ships. Kidding. This is just a fancy shot of some random fancy thing in my very fancy hostel building. Fancy, huh?
The corridor on my side of the cluster. See that door on the right-most side? Mine! (I’ve never noticed that blue fire-extinguisher till now, I swear. Sheesh. So much for fire drills.) There’s a “no shoes on the corridor” policy (to make it easier for people to make a mad dash for the exit in case the building catches fire), so of course, there are shoes all over the place. It’s comforting to know that even in Singapore (the “fine” country), rules are made to be broken. I feel like I’m home again!
My room door. See that fancy knob on top of the “D”? That’s for the transponder (no, not transponster – that’s not even a word!) better known in less primitive areas (like normal hostels) as “the key”. The transponder is more gadget-y and fancy looking (and it’s great to impress the hell out of people still using normal keys), but it performs pretty much the same function as a normal key. (Damn, I wish I’d taken a picture of my fancy transponder now.)
My lurvely room! (Don’t mock the mismatched bed-sheet and pillow cover! Also, did the flowery bed-sheets give away my gender?) The bed occupies most of the picture because the bed occupies most of my room. To the left of the picture (if I had a camera that took panaromic pictures) would be my wardrobe cupboard and to the right would be my attached-to-the-wall writing desk. Anyhoo, who really cares about the room? There are much more important things to see here, like…
Le toilette! I didn’t want to violate anyone’s privacy, so I just took a shot of the clean sinks and the huge mirrors, but it gives you an idea of what the whole thing might look like, doesn’t it? I’m very picky about bathrooms and toilets and this one outdid even my expectations.
I had to leave the hostel before dark to get back home, so that’s all the pictures I could take. Had I stayed there a bit longer, pictures of the food court, the TV rooms, the reading rooms, the lounges, the gym, the basket-ball, badminton and tennis courts and many other things would’ve followed. Unfortunately, this is all I had time for.
Pictures are a poor substitute for memories anyway. The years spent in that fabulous hostel shall not be forgotten soon, for it is the place I found my home away from home, made my first few friends and spent some of the most memorable times of my life since I’ve come to NUS.
But we all have to move on someday. I don’t regret making the decision to move to another hostel, because I’m sure the new place will bring with it many more friends to make and many more memories to cherish. So, to the old place – goodbye. I’ll miss you. I’ll visit you. I won’t forget you.
To the new place – hey! Got room in there for one more?