Take your time

I just moved from my old university in Malaysia to pursue a degree in The Australian National University, Canberra. Canberra is a small town in south-ish part of Australia. Canberra is also the capital city of Australia. I arrived in a small airport and wondered: “So ……. this is the airport of the capital city of Australia? Am I in the wrong flight?”, apparently I’m not.
 I got on the cab and sit through 20 minutes of looking through the window and seeing a quiet city, there are not many cars in here. “It’s Saturday morning, mate”, said the taxi driver. This place is so strange, so empty, quite, woles, yet satisfying. Especially for students.
 I arrived at my dorm, checked in to my room and meet my new flatmate called Matt. A really nice guy from New Zealand. He’s now doing his research on AI and will graduate with a PhD degree. He arrived one day earlier than me so he knew a little bit around the area. We went together for lunch in the mall and go shopping for several things needed in our flat. A few hours later, I found myself just lying in the bed, covered in blanket, doing nothing, just staring into the blank space and start thinking.
 No, this is not a story about me our newly born friendship, this is not a story about all my activities in a new environment, this is a story about me slowing down.

Being a stranger in a new country, I’m culture shocked.
 I feel out of place.
 I feel like I didn’t belong here.
 Every time I speak, people need me to repeat it for them. Vice versa. Every time they talk to me, “sorry?” was the first word that got out of my mouth. It’s not like I have a bad English, I’m pretty confident with my speaking skills (even though being in Malaysia f-ed it up pretty badly). It’s just their accent that I don’t always hear every time I listen to a song or watch a movie, it’s their special way of saying things, their jargon. Those aside, I can’t really outsmart the natives who have been speaking English since day 1 (I bet they cried in English when they first got into this world).
 I have to get used to the fact that people do not always have rice for their meals, I have to get used to the fact that every meal are accompanied by Coke. I have to learn drinking from tap water. I have to try not to be shocked when I see the price on the menu (still am). I have to accept the fact that all shops are closed at 6 and everyone went to the bar afterwards. I have to get used to seeing sunlight at 7 pm and felt chilling wind even though the sun is up and will potentially fried you. I have to accept that I only had one friend and that I should rely on him to walk me around cause my mind hasn’t mapped the place yet.
 I’m confused on how the system works, how to pay my rent, how to ride the bus, how to enroll on my subjects, how to open a bank account, where to get a SIM card, and much more
 I started thinking of home, but it’s impossible for me to be homesick. I was just in my home 24 hours ago.
 I was exhausted, probably the effect of the 10 hours trip.
 I was jet-lagged.
 I haven’t settled in.
 I feel like I didn’t belong here.
 I feel out of place.

At least for now.

I realized that I shouldn’t be rushing on things and that it’s okay to not know where your dorm is, to starve in the middle of the night cos sandwiches aren’t enough for you, to start speaking and listening clearly and carefully, to understand and take things slowly.
 It’s just the matter of time. You’ll know what to do. But not now.
 It’s perfectly fine to take things slow. And there’s nothing wrong with it.
 Slow down.
 Take your time.
 You’ll get there.

Hey guys, this is my first Medium post, taken from my blog. If you do like it, please recommend and share. Thanks!

Originally published at tributetoleki.blogspot.com.au on February 24, 2016.