Miss Aida
There's nothing fun at all waiting in the freezing cold for a tram. Without a coat. I had paid some friends in Bundoora a visit; they had extended a lunch invitation and the need to go was constituted by the fact that I hadn't seen them for ages. So I hop on a tram, prepared to wait out the one hour tram ride with my trustworthy lecture notes. The ride was uneventful, with me getting through a fair bit of material, but as I near their apartment, I start panicking. I've only ever been there once and I had no idea where to stop.

Take a deep breath, hazard a guess. Area looks vaguely familiar. Pull tram cord. Tram shudders to a stop. I get out only to realise I'm supposed to stop at the next stop. Oh well. Legs were made for a reason. I hadn't seen Aini and Shahid for so long! People take for granted that just because your friends are in Victoria you'll end up being really close friends who hang out all the time and talk on the phone for ages. Not at all. Sometimes I barely see my old friends in Melbourne. We meet up once in awhile, but especially with second year uni, everyone's just so busy.

Aini had cooked a great lunch, and I had fun hanging out with her again - she's such a 100-miles-an-hour chatterbox. It's fantastic! Such enthusiasm can never be ignored. Shahid got back from uni and we both had a huggy reunion. Then Nadiah, Nana, Kak Ummu and Hidayah came and the party really got started. Nasi ayam. Yum. Kak Ummu had to return to pass up an assignment so I decided to hitch a ride back with them. Here's the part which ended up with me waiting for a tram in the freezing cold - we were halfway back and I realised I forgot my keys. Sigh. Exit car and wait for a tram to Bundoora. How the limits of my patience were tested. Even that cute guy on the tram didn't do much for my bad mood.

Heading down for supper that night led to one of the longest, most interesting DMC (deep meaningful conversations) I've had for ages. It was as if no one wanted to go back to studying, and for once, the JCR was relatively empty. We just settled down on the huge leather chairs and talked... and talked... and talked. It was interesting to see how differently we saw things.

Eddie and I were on one side, both people of faith. John, Kirsty and Pei sat on the other side, completing a circle. I only mention this because a large portion of our earlier conversation was about religion. It was hard for Eddie and I to explain our faiths. Christianity and Islam, but both with similar ideals. It also came as a bit of a shock to realise how different people viewed religion. Opinions due to the lack of knowledge about the subject, which Eddie and I were all too happy to fill in. Opinions due to political taintment of religion. Opinions just because of self-perception of the religion. It just illustrated how amazingly different people of faith think as opposed to non-believers. Even the most basic things can be quite different.

Conversation can be such a special thing. Just five people wrapped up in their own little world exchanging views and opinions. I suppose we were all in an academic mood because of the exams because we discussed philosophy, theology and science. We talked about our futures, our hopes and dreams. Laughed over John's prediction of a common sense machine. Me whinging about the relationship flaw as a medical student. Eddie and his convictions of having his PhD by 30. Kirsty wanting to save the world. And Pei with her rock-climbing. Discussed the probability of visiting each other in our respective home countries. John's supposed to come down to Singapore and Malaysia now. :D I couldn't believe we talked straight till three in the morning. It was one of those defining moments of a relationship. I like to think that we'll come back in ten years and look at that little piece of paper that we wrote our dreams on (yes, we actually did scribe them) and have achieved most of them.

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On a different note, I donated blood today! :D I've always wanted to be a donor - it's just that I've never had the opportunity to (asides from that one time in college, but that's an entirely different story). A whole group of us from Ormond went to donate blood, and we all ran into our own respective obstacles. Funny. Ashiq was the only one who didn't have any problems whatsoever. Then again, he's a big strong male, so that was expected. Adrian was under-18 and couldn't get parental consent. Jeen fainted after donating, cause her blood pressure dropped. Tammy had to use both arms because they couldn't get enough blood from one side. Tom's blood flow was too slow, and Pei couldn't give any because they couldn't get enough blood from her. And the nurses couldn't even find Will's veins!

And as for me? First the nurse told me that the needle was larger than my vein and it might cause a constant stinging. Fine. I was cool with that. Entirely, psychologically prepared to be all noble and endure the pain. It didn't hurt at all though.. I was so impressed with the nurses. They must've found the vein right and just popped the needle in perfectly. I was lying on the bed comfortably when the machine beeped. Apparently my blood flow dropped below 11. Which is apparently bad. The nurses told me to clench and unclench my fist, and I had no problems thereafter. My blood flow went up heaps, which the nurses were sufficiently impressed with.

I had a great experience donating blood. Helped that I didn't feel any after-effects which some people apparently do. I feel great now. All happy asides from the fact that I've got a bandage on my right arm and it's hard bending it. I'm planning to make this an annual thing. I reckon everyone should do it once in awhile.

Public health message: They never really have enough blood. It could be you who needs it next.
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