Went over to Stater Bros today, to buy groceries. Basic stuff, like bread and chicken slices. P bought some cake mix and eggs. I thought the half-sized Pepsi cans were cute, but too bad I don’t drink carbonated drinks. They’re the same diameter as the usual Pepsi cans, but only half the height. Sooo cute.

Supermarkets here are HUGE. And portions are huge. I haven’t seen small portions like at home yet. No such thing as 3 burger buns in one plastic bag. Here, they come 12 at a time. Wah. Wah.

And before Stater Bros, over to the nearby bank to open an account. The lady who helped me was really, really nice, chatting about everything under the sun (or so it seemed). From babysitters to bus rides to pizza specials at Pizza Hut (latest: $6.99, large, 1 topping). She showed a booklet of cheques to me, and I picked out the cheapest kind.

Blue, green, or yellow? (Blue, my favourite colour. But maybe I should’ve taken yellow, a more businesslike cheque colour?)

Ack. Just realised that if I am to use the American way of writing, cheque=check. And favourite=favorite, and colour=color. And at the beginning of this paragraph, realised=realized.

I wake up at 12 pm, thanks to my sister’s clock radio. 12 pm! An entire day wasted. Ugh, ugh. And I suddenly realize that I haven’t written anything. Anywhere. There go my memories.

No paper, so I grabbed a paper bag from the cafeteria and started writing on that.

Called the Learning & Support Centre today to cancel my ACT exam. I’ve been advised to wait for someone to return to campus, and refer my SPM scores to him. And if it turns out I’ll have to take the ACT anyway … that means the SPM is useless to me here, and I might as well not have taken it. Argh. Argh.

Second interview at the Dean of Education’s office. Am in a dilemma about the job, as it doesn’t have all the hours I’d like. But other than that, I want the job!

I’ve got the job, but still in dilemma. The Dean was nice enough to give me a week to think about it, before deciding on anything. So I’m to get back on her next Monday, and tell her my decision.

Phone call from Dean of Education’s office. Second interview tomorrow! She’s narrowed it down to two people, and wants to narrow it down to – well – one.

Went shopping with my aunty J, cousin B, and sister. And also my 3 year old cousin C. They nickname her Cait-Cait. But it looks better as ‘Kate-Kate’ when written down, so let’s call her Kate here.

Anyway. Suddenly Kate exclaims with glee in the car, “Testicles! Testicles!” and all of us laugh so hard. Have no idea where she could’ve picked that up from.

We tried to change her to saying ‘Popsicles’ instead, so she said popsicles. Just as we’d convinced ourselves we’d wiped ‘testicles’ out of her mind, she suddenly burst out again – “Testicles!”

Whee! Just came back from watching Fourth of July fireworks. Great show!

My cousin B and sister say I’m lucky – hardly two weeks in America, and I get to see fireworks. And a celebrity!

Earlier today, we’d stopped by Costco and saw the girl from 13 going on 30, the one that played Jennifer Garner’s backstabbing best friend. She was with a guy – boyfriend or husband, I guess. They were at the checkout line, and seemed to be having a problem. Later they walked out without anything, which probably means they didn’t have a Costco member card, or something? Dunno.

Interview at the Dean of Education’s office, for a part-time job. The interview lasted quite a while, but the job sounds tough. Kind of hope that I won’t get the job.

Well, here I am. California! And it’s huuuuge. Loads of people. And things are so big here. Meal portions are huge, roads are big, etc etc.

Yes, this is the rusa masuk kampung phase for me.

Currently with a stuffed-up nose and a semi-sore throat. Need to get well quick.

Arrived today. I had Asian Vegetarian meals on the plane, all the way. I got an aisle seat on the right side of the plane at first, from Singapore Changi Airport to Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan. An Indian girl was sitting at the window, and the seat between us with empty. She quickly took advantage of this, stacking all her stuff (plenty) there. She spent most of her time flipping her ponytail around, and examining the ends (for split ends, maybe?). She was around her early 20’s, I think.

From Tokyo to Los Angeles, I got an aisle seat on the other side of the plane – the left side. Again, the seat between me and the window seat was empty. The girl at the window seat was probably around 9 or 10 years old, and from Korea. I assumed her to be from South Korea, not the North.

At first I thought she couldn’t speak English, she was so quiet. Turned out that her mother was a teacher, and she spoke fluent – VERY fluent – English.

Later she offered me a piece of Korean grape candy called ‘sour sweet’ – “Here. This is Korea candy.” I asked for the name in Korean, and she told me – but I couldn’t catch the name, and was embarrassed to admit it. So I just nodded my head and said, “Oh, I see.”

We put our bags in the middle seat. There was an extra blanket and pillow (because nobody was in the middle seat), so I lined the bags and she slept with her head on them. I think she slept most of the way.

At the end of the trip, I was embarrassed because I had nothing to give to her in return for the Korean candy.

So my flight’s all set. Kota Kinabalu to Singapore – then after a couple of days there, on to Los Angeles. Transits at Tokyo Narita and San Francisco.

Only about an hour each at Tokyo and San Francisco. I wish I had a bit more time, to look around the airport. Because, well– Japan!!

Things I’m going to miss: Tuhau (doesn’t matter that they say it smells like kosisang – it’s great stuff), and also bosou. Of course, I’m bringing along a small bottle of tuhau … but bosou is out of the question. That would be almost as odour-hazardous as bringing a durian.

In the bag: Some clothes. A towel. Some toiletries…yeah, well, I’m one of those girls with three kinds of facewashes.

Still talking nonstop about National Service with my friends – eck, when will this stop? And found out (shock!) that a 3rd intake girl had been raped at Kompleks Sukan Likas… my friend had been one of the first the girl had told about the incident, before she (reluctantly – you understand) reported it. And of course, it was all hushed up.

The Unduk Ngadau pictures came out in the paper a few days ago. We pored over them, trying to make our guesses on who would be the finalists, and also (we’re evil) which ones didn’t stand a chance.

We teased each other – “Tiada yang lebih lawa kah dari kampung kau? Ini saja kah?!”, pointing out representatives from our respective districts and kampungs. Of course, everyone supported their own district.

First time I’ve ever gone to watch a Unduk Ngadau beauty pageant (and probably the last time for a long, long time… university holidays never fall in May), and … surprise! My district of Tamparuli wins the title of Unduk Ngadau 2004! Excellent!

I never knew I’d enjoy watching a beauty pageant so much – usually I think these things are cheap and degrading to women, but I actually had great fun watching. And burst into cheers and clapping when Tamparuli won.

Had to push to get into the hall. Actually, I didn’t even want to go in, but the rest of my family did. So I joined and went in. Pushing to get into the door, some 40+ year old man took the chance to rub against my chest. Gah. I could’ve slapped him. Bad example to the 2-year-old son he was bringing along.

Somehow managed to get a seat in the second row. One of those plush seats supposed to be for VVIPs, but they were empty. It helps to know the right people who know the right people who have the power to grant you seats. Sat behind 2003’s two (two!!) beauty queens.

Someone in the second row started passing around champagne glasses of lihing, and we all took a few sips. (The beauty queens, too? Yes.) I don’t think I can take lihing as a drink. It reminds me too much of drunken chicken … which is cooked with lihing.

At first me and the people sitting next to me were banking on Kota Belud, Tuaran, and Tamparuli winning, in that order.

Kota Belud was really, really pretty … we were banking on her winning, no contest! But the question-answer session didn’t go too well, and she placed 7th out of the 7 finalists.

Tuaran (my ex-classmate’s girlfriend) placed fifth – I don’t know why. She should’ve been in the top three. But that’s OK, because she did win a smaller title a couple of days ago – “Tati Topiodon”, I think. Miss Natural Beauty.

And Tamparuli placed first! When it was just down to her and Klang Valley, a guy in traditional costume next to me said, “OK, if it comes down to maturity, it’s Klang Valley … but everything else goes to Tamparuli. I’m not going to be happy if Tamparuli loses.” She was really good at the question-answer session, and really natural throughout the whole event. And she won!!

So – yeah. Results, Papar got 3rd, Klang Valley 2nd, and Tamparuli 1st. Yay for Sumandak Tamparuli.