Okay, the past month or so kind of just wooshed by and I seem to have gotten a memory wipe or something because everything I've done seems extremely vague and blurry but at the same time it was probably the most interesting month this year since I was rarely ever at home.
And I oddly don't exactly miss the whole comfy home environment as much as I thought I would have.
Hoorah, a nomad's life it shall be for me.
What's also strange is that everything I have wished for seems to be coming true and that's an amazing feeling.
Yes, I actually prayed to be out of the house and on my own in a way, my family is absolutely fabulous and I get stuffed with amazing food everyday but sometimes change and adventure is needed and that I felt excruciatingly frustrated about not knowing what I wanted during most of the year kind of helped too.
I think I just made everything sound overly dramatic.
Anyways, I will start my post off at the end of May, my Dad received two seats to an introduction to NLP, which stands for Neuro linguistic programming if you didn't know but most of everyone I've talked to seems to have heard about it one way or another and I was pretty surprised I suppose.
I had an impression that we could hack into people's minds but fortunately for those around me it wasn't anything like what I had in mind.
The two day seminar was held in on of the lecture theaters in the Taylor's Lakeside Campus and I expected a huge lecture hall that could accommodate over a hundred participants, like those you see in movies but it really was this normal class room with bright yellow walls and was filled with middle aged students that had either grey hair or were balding.
I should probably lower my expectations by a whole lot.
We were also late and there was traffic that morning, like most mornings so my Dad parked across the highway at a patrol station and we actually walked across a highway so very early in the morning.
You could say it was a very interesting experience to have when you are half asleep, I felt very much like a refugee that morning.
The overall two day "training" was pretty interesting and I am surprised I do quite a lot of the techniques already, it was basically reminding myself how to use it.
We were also given a pen and paper test to basically find out your personality and we were taught how to communicate better with different individuals, it was very much like learning a whole new language and the whole using certain words thing doesn't really work on me (Or maybe my Dad just doesn't know how to play with his words very well.) but it surprisingly worked on my Dad and he still doesn't know I used "his personality language" on him to persuade him to go shopping with me.
So maybe I'll use it after all.
The biggest reason why I enjoyed I really enjoyed the overpriced course was because I got to spend more time with my Dad and I also learnt why I usually end up in tears when we "talk", it's because we are are on the extreme sides on the personality chart.
He is an I.D which means he is someone who enjoys plans, structure and straight forward stuff and I as a kinesthetic on the other hand, doesn't really like step-by-step plans, I would very much prefer that you gave me a deadline and I would find a way to get it done by then, hopefully.
I am also completely fine with fuzzy details and apparently I feel a little bit too much and my Dad doesn't exactly understand what this feelings are.
I guess now I understand why he says the things he says and overall accept his occasional grumpiness a lot better, as well as learn a little more about my wonky self but I honestly wouldn't pay RM 1,400 for that seminar because I am such a cheapo.
The next day I drove, wait my Mom drove over to our old place in PJ and kidnapped Swathy over to PD to stuff our faces with Mommy's popcorn, re-watch every single episode of Mind Your Language again, roll in sea mud, dig for lalas, cycle to our favorite warung to have nasi goreng kampung tambah ikan bilis and syrap limau ais and then tapau-ing curry puffs to munch at the very beautiful and breezy fisherman's jetty and throw a random Honda car factory plant tour in the middle of it somewhere.
I also got stopped by a really creepy kampung boy that claimed I looked like his favorite k-pop singer and insisted to take picture of me and to have tea with him. I don't think I have cycled away from anyone quite as fast before.
Packing was horrific since I only started the midnight before camp and I was tossing clothes all over my already insanely messy room trying to find dark colored t-shirt and long pants, not my favorite choice of clothing I must admit.
Hm, camp. I honestly haven't a clue where to start even though Teen Dhamma Camp 13 is all I have been thinking about since it ended and this time I actually had very low expectations (Seriously, how fun can a DHAMMA camp be, right?) but guess what?
IT WAS AMAZING.
.. And I have been listening (And dancing to the hoedown, of course.) to the TDC theme song, It's time - Imagine Dragons on repeat for the entire day and woah, it's a rush of beautiful bittersweet camp memories.
I just realized I enjoyed TDC more than last year's RYLA, maybe it's because I am a little more confident this time round and I don't have a fear of speaking in general.
And therefore you get to meet more people and have more fun, woopie!
When we (Bloo, Nadia, Jet and Sam) reached SJBA very early in the morning, we were led to this hall that was filled with teenagers sitting cross legged and walking to an empty spot to settle down was stressful since everyone in the room was staring and I very badly wanted to dissolve into water at that very moment and hopefully seep into the floor tiles or something.
After a very awkward puja and massage-the-person-in-front-of-you session we had to split into groups of eight and we pretty much stuck together thinking everything was fine as we played some warm-up-to-the-random-people-around-you-type-of-games but oh, after thinking I was safe with the people I arrived with we had to run around the hall asking the facilitators if we were in their group or not and it turns out all five of us were scattered in different groups.
Seeing the people that I was going to be in a team with was.. I don't know how to describe what I was feeling at that moment but "Oh my god, I am going to be stuck with this boy with nice braces (THIS IS SHAYYYNEEE! *Rings chong*), a rather grumpy and annoying look boy, a rather shy smiley girl and three other tiny people for the next four days" was terrifying.
And somehow I got elected to be the leader of the Wave team, like are you people serious.
So what do you do when you put eight random teenagers together?
You make them come up with a group cheer.
We are the waves
We are STRONG
Prepare for a tsu-na-mi"
After a terribly awkward cheer creating session we boarded two school buses and headed over to the place where we would be held captive in for the next four days, Bodhi Park, Shah Alam.
It has a huge concrete lotus on the roof so it was pretty hard not to miss.
Right after our vegetarian lunch, I actually quite enjoy vegetarian food but don't tell anyone that.
And after unloading our luggage into our double decker zinc cabins (I slept underneath and it was nerve wrecking since the girls on the the upper layer were dancing or something and the wooden deck didn't look or sound very stable but I lived.), we started off our first activity together as a team, it was called the Apple station and we basically had to run around the temple compound finding stations where we would perform Apple app themed games against another team.
The Candy crush station was the most memorable because we had to stick our face in a basin of flour and fish out candy with out mouth in result to people regurgitating nice round blobs of dough out and having flour in your nose isn't the best feeling ever.
And there was the 4 Pic 1 Word station where two teams were shown the same picture and we had to guess the word without the brackets to guide you but my insanely awesome team found a way to cheat, the Where's My Water station where we had to look around the cabin area for cups of water and put it into a little spray bottle, spray a dangling cloth and try to get the water to drip into a cup, the Instagram station where one member of the team (A glittery tattoo to whoever guesses it right.) had to paint an Instagrammed picture of a facilitator, the Hardest game ever station where we had to solve crossword puzzles, sudoku and riddles, the Fruit Ninja station where we had to mash a banana with the skin intact and a Draw My Thing station where you had to um, obviously draw your "thing". *Eye twitch*
There was sort of a "moral" to each game that is somehow linked to the whole "Dhamma"/"Buddhist camp" thing but I sadly don't remember any of it.
I think we also created our mail boxes with pieces of paper and Sharpies that afternoon, pretty similar to the ones that were at RYLA but mail boxes are amazing!
Later that evening we had Mahapuja, it conceived of a very short an enjoyable meditation session which I happened to be slipping in and out of consciousness in and then we lined up in a U shape and passed down flowers, candles and a cup of water. I don't even know why I enjoyed it so much, really.
After a breakfast of dry noodles we began the amazing race which to me was a continuation of yesterday's Apple Station but instead of Apple app themed games we blew tissue, bounced marbles on paper, used chopsticks in a wheelbarrow position, solved some riddle, blew some ping-pong balls into a cup while lying on a lovely sandy and cement-y floor, did some hoedowns and did this marble-tissue roll thing that was very frustrating I must say.
And this time you weren't given a clear map on where the next station is going to be, we had to wonder out of the temple and into a housing estate in the scorching tropical afternoon sun and if you found a marble somewhere along the way you could U-turn another team to do one of the previous stations, unfortunately my team got the U-turn card and boy, it was not fun and I felt like the worst team leader ever because I was probably sulking my face off.
THEN WE HAD A TELEMATCH! I HAVEN'T BEEN IN ONE SINCE SOME EARLY PRIMARY SCHOOLING STAGE OF MY LIFE.
I swear, the meal times were the best because everyone would run off to their group of friends, eat, die of laughter, empty their mail boxes and read fan mail and play with Nadia's hair.
Sleep came very easily to me that night but I was soon woken up by the sound of one of the facilitator's voice saying to go to the mph (Multi purpose hall) NOW, so I dashed to the toilet with my contact lenses and tried to put them on and I accidentally swiped them into the sink.
Mark my words, never try to put contacts on when you aren't functioning very well. Especially not in the middle of the night.
I never realized how insecure I was without my contact lenses. FIVE MORE DAYS OR SO TILL I GET HOME TO MY STASH OF CONTACT LENSES.
Anyways, we were woken up to solve a murder and it was hilarious since everyone was so blur and we had to solve riddles and duck walk in order to get the suspects and witnesses statements which we then pieced together to figure out who it was.
Also throw in some zombiefied facilitators walking around the temple compound and lots of screaming girls, thinking about the night before the next morning seemed as though it was a really weird dream.
There's so much to write about that my fingers hurt just by thinking about it but I'll try to go on, ack.
Our last night at camp was as usual the most amazing, it conceived with a lot of rolling on spiky grass, stuffing our faces with REAL sausages and cuttlefish balls, loud music, singing, jumpy high-5s and amazing friends!
If only I could relive TDC 13 once again.
-Karen Cuppy Cake