Archive for May, 2012


When I was young, I have always dreamed about going to other countries. And
yes, I hated my life in Malaysia. Life was so hectic back then and there’s just
too much stress to handle. Sometimes, I even wish that time would just pass by
sooner so that I can leave this country for good and start a new chapter of my life
somewhere else. But all those thoughts started to change when I first landed in

When I first came to Australia with my family, I was overwhelmed by how
friendly the people are. They never ceased to make me smile. They would simply
just smile at you whenever you walk past them, which show how friendly they
are. That’s something that you don’t get to see everywhere, including Malaysia.
I still remembered once, when I was at the cash register getting ready to pay for
the items that I purchased, the cashier was very friendly and asked, “Hi, how are
you? Did you have a great day?” I was kind of surprised that she would ask such a
question since I just came here for only a few days, so I was not used to their so-
called “culture”. So, I hesitated for a few seconds, and then replied, “I’m fine. Yes,
I had a great day today”. Somehow, I felt a sudden warmness in my heart, and
that’s something that you can’t find anywhere else but here in Australia.

The 13th of February, which is also known as Orientation day, I went to the
college accompanied by my family. When I first stepped into the campus, I was
stunned to see how beautiful the campus was. All I saw was an old church,
old building with a unique Western architecture, as well as tall green trees
surrounding the campus. I can definitely feel the tranquility and serenity
surrounding me. On the first day of Orientation, I was very fortunate to meet
many international students whom come from different countries. I was kind
of surprised that there are many Malaysians who are also studying here too. At
first, I thought I would be the only Malaysian who’s going to be studying here but
I guess I stand corrected. There are also many students who come from different
countries such as China, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia,
Sri Lanka and many more. Since we had 2 weeks of Orientation, thus I had the
opportunity to meet more new friends as well as getting to bond with them.
Throughout those 2 weeks of orientation, I had a great time making new friends,
as well as having fun playing games, as well as learning new things. It was indeed
one of those memories that I will never forget.

2 weeks later, lectures and tutorials finally began. On the first day of class, I have
to admit, I was very nervous. I was hoping that the lecturers here wouldn’t be as
strict as they are back in Malaysia. To my astonishment, not only the lecturers
here are friendly, but they also have a great sense of humor. Sometimes, they
would share some jokes just to brighten our day. It definitely makes 2 hours of
lecture less boring than it originally was.

Yes, classes have been great, but not everything turned out to be great. Not only
does studying abroad means studying in overseas, but it also means leaving
your home country, leaving your love ones behind, including your family and

friends. In my opinion, I think that is one of the biggest sacrifices I have to
make. Honestly, I can’t describe how much I miss my family right now. After
staying with my family for nearly 18 years, I feel so much closer to my family,
but now that I am here in Australia, I can’t spend time with them anymore. Yes,
phone calls are one way to communicate with them, but it just doesn’t feel the
same. Sometimes, I wish I could be there with them physically, instead of being
thousand miles away from them. Deep down inside my heart, I know my parents
want the best for me, and that’s why they sent me here, so that I can have a
better education. I think one of the toughest things I have to deal with is being
independent. Yes, my mother used to cook dinners for me, but now I have to do
the cooking, and not to mention the house chores too. Now I realize how hard
cooking is, and began to appreciate everything my mother has done for me. I
guess being independent is part of growing up too. Furthermore, I miss some
of my friends back in Malaysia. I made so many true friends there, and leaving
them was the worst part of all. As one says, “A friend is one who believes in you
when you have ceased to believe in yourself.” I am truly thankful to have such
wonderful friends who stood there by my side when I really need them. I don’t
think I can ever find friends as good as them.

Honestly, I am very grateful for everything God has given me. I am so thankful to
have such wonderful family and friends. I feel blessed to be able to study abroad
because I know that not everyone has that opportunity to do so. I promised
myself that I would cherish every moment and be appreciative for what I have.



Early morning poured heavenly sprinkles
that reminded me of eyes that twinkle
and a face free from worrying wrinkles,
and wakes me from slumber like Rip Van Winkle.

Daylight soon shined cloudy skies to white
and accompanied the chill air to form a blight;
Upon this gloomy day I scribble to write
hoping you that everything is alright.

Alas, outside the window, all is grey,
and it’s the truth no matter how I say:
That you’re a quarter of an Earth (circumference) away,
From where my pen will finally lay.

Still, I shall subside any tears [This doesn’t sound like me]
and all foolish longings will clear;
There’s nothing for us to miss or fear,
for what remains will only be prayers and cheers.

Fly, my friend! Fly high!
Fly towards the vast, distant sky!
Fly away from worries and sigh
and to a place that’s high and dry.

Whether it’s by chance or design,
I thank you for being a friend of mine;
If we meet again, by means of divine,
I hope we still remembered each other for a dine. [LOL]

Though the vast distance of land and sea,
Or the high degree where you may be;
I hope you can hear clearly from me
the words-Happy Eighteenth Birthday, Ng Tze Gee!

Hello everyone! As you can see, thefourlobes 2012 is launched at its new site,

Therefore, please visit the site for a better viewing experience. However, this website is not neglected, as it will be converted to a page that contains articles published during thefourlobes 2011, as well as archives for the thefourlobes 2012. It also serves as thefourlobes 2012 RSS Feed page.

by Foong Jia Vei

I am writing this while travelling around in United Kingdom. Hopefully, I will have more fun doing
this like that than it already is. (:

Honestly, coming to United Kingdom for further studies was never my idea. The original plan was
to go to Australia one or two years after our beloved Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. I argued well with my
parents, but I still gave in at the end. It was as if I suddenly I wanted to be away from all that I have,
to know how strong I can be, and foolishly chose to leave everything that I love. So, it wasn’t really
any strong passion or dream that drove me to this decision, but persuasion, advice and something
my mind randomly decided to do.

The first blast of cold, pricking winter wind was when the administrator from my school helped me
to push the trolley with my luggage, but at the same time forgetting about my winter coat that I left
on the handle. It was nothing much at first, but when I reached Northampton, where it is ALWAYS
colder than London Heathrow, I really wanted to stay indoor the whole day. That night when I was
trying to overcome my jetlag and fell asleep out of exhaustion, I thought I would die. I really didn’t
know how to stop shivering. Fortunately, it somehow did. But who would have imagined, not more
than two months later, I am picking up and throwing snow at others in a snow ball fight. Really, the
weather in United Kingdom is rather nasty. Sometimes, it is so warm that I really wondered how I
would survived back in Malaysia, sometimes it is so cold that I hoped for Malaysia’s sunshine. That
somehow, was quite inconvenient for foreigners like me, because I just decided to leave all my warm
clothes locked up in my boarding house and it is currently freezing out here ._.

Somehow, I still do feel like sleeping in front of the teachers, even when there are less than 10
students in each class and the teacher can always notice me. I have also been told that since we
are doing A-Level, we should not rely on teachers and textbooks but more on how hard you work
for it, and how you inquire about whatever that was unknown and not understood. For me, it was
kind of troublesome, because it meant that you should never slack. In small groups, teachers tend to
notice you more, so you can never run away with bad marks. For my college, the teachers each write
a report to our personal tutor who discusses the surfaced problem and also send the same report
back to your parents. Other than that, I know that the students who came here to study always
work harder than they used to, because they actually realise how much money and hope their own
parents had put in while sending their children to a faraway place. So even if they party hard, they
DO study hard. Oh and of course, the partying part is still a secret from parents.

I am a quiet person, and it was always hard for me to get accustom to new environment and make
new friends. It is actually a relief to me to have more Malaysians for our batch this term. I have to
say that it is hard for me to mix with students from other courses, especially the Europeans. In a
way, we live our own lives, walking on straight paths without interacting. Maybe, just a small smile

when we meet each other inside the boarding house. So far, a few of the Hong Kong AS students
(First year of A-Levels; those doing 18-month A-Level course are known as ASJ – AS January-intake)
are very kind to me as we always talk to each other in Cantonese, and they helped me a lot in my

When I first arrived at London Heathrow and Northampton, I was so tired that I never really paid
attention to the new environment. It occurs to me in a way that I don’t feel like I left anywhere or
already at a new place. Other than being colder than usual, having a different house to live in, mixing
with different group of friends, and studying in a different place, nothing seemed to have changed.
At some moment, I felt like I am still in Malaysia, going to go home anytime soon. It was until few
weeks ago, while I was waiting for my boarding house to open (It closes around 8.30am and opens
again at 4.00pm during weekdays), I Skype-d my friend, and showed him the surroundings of my
school and the big, spacious, breath-talking Racecourse (The large spread of greens with many hills
and playgrounds and basketball courts and able to fit many football fields, positioned in front of the
boarding house that provide us meals), I heard ‘Oh my God, your place looked so classical and yet
so beautiful, I really envy you!’ Then, I realised how the sky is actually has a nicer shade of blue than
what I used to see, how the blossoming flowers coloured the streets, how hot air balloons give the
Racecourse a bit of excitement, how the stars shine each night, and how I really love this place that.

Honestly, I don’t miss home, at least not until I have something I want to share with my mother
a lot, not until I meet up with problems I hoped to have someone to face it with me, not until…
(I got distracted, the view outside the train is too beautiful; houses like box matches with smoke
puffing out of the chimneys and broad, wavy roads) From what I see, most of the Malaysian Chinese
students got really homesick during Chinese New Year because it is such a big celebration for them.
One of my friends brought new dresses over to wear during Chinese New Year, just to have the feel
of it, and also loads of Chinese New Year snacks. Lucky for me, she brought too much so she could
never finish it on her own, and had to share them with me! We had a celebration together with the
rest of the ASJs and with some of the A2 seniors for ‘tuan yuan fan’. It was not something really
memorable, really. But at least, we had a little something, so as to not forget our origins. (There are
big flocks of clouds and sheep outside my window!)

United Kingdom is an awesome place; beautiful scenaries, shopping paradise, all kinds of nice food
and bar, convenient transportation and nice weather. Unfortunately, it is nowhere cleaner than
Malaysia. Rubbish that can be picked up will not be seen a lot, but those where you can’t, realised
that you will be stepping on them every day. Even when you have a large field with nice and green
grasses, noticed that every one brings their pet to their place, so you know what to expect.

To conclude all the random things that I have put in here, this place is a nice place for travelling
around or staying for period of time. The people here are mostly nice and helpful, even when their
difference in accent in every part of the country is quite obvious. Throughout my stay in the United

Kingdom, I have yet to experience all the specialties in this country. Even though I am still quite
determined to go back to Malaysia after all the studying and apprenticing has ended, I might want
to come here to stay for a short term once again. Well, who knows? Everyone and everything might
change in the future, so we shall see then.

by Lim Li Anne

Leaves crunch as heeled-boots trod over in careless steps
Wincing as cold autumn wind whirls past like a slap
Gripping candy boxes, popping pink ones for a bite,
Smiling casually with a pen, for away from home I write

Fingers digging deeper into hand-knitted sweaters
Hurtling past frigid raindrops in a rush of patter
Away from home I write, pen poised so solemnly
To those who miss my presence ever dearly

Inviting words so casually reaching out for me
The foreign ones who decided I was their friend to be
Away from home I write, watching past memories soar by
While stars splay themselves in the darkness of Night’s sky

Bouncing off trampolines, Easter-egg hunting
Grinning as childlike feelings begin resurfacing
Away from home I write, knowing that the present will turn into a memory
Listening faintly as summer leaves behind a nostalgic melody

Away from home I write, knowing that there will never be regrets
For all that exists is hope to correct past mishaps
Life is colourful here with blues, reds, gold and greys
Certainty exists that New Zealand shall guide along winding paths of fate

“No man can become rich himself without enriching others.” – Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), Industrialist and Philanthropist.

In 2011, thefourlobes was launched as an initiative to spur writing talents by serving as a platform to display literary works and go with the tagline “Celebrating Ideas, Exploring Perspectives”. The word “phenomenal” wasn’t the right word to describe the response towards thefourlobes that resided at the address but nevertheless, someone noticed us, commented and contributed. To us, these little comments and views are acknowledgements of our efforts, contributions are bonus on the side.

Now, thefourlobes returns with a new season (taking the form of three months from May to July like thefourlobes 2011) branded as “thefourlobes 2012” with a new theme “Reaching Minds, Enriching Lives” that complements the founding tagline. As most of our writers, especially the four founding writers, and readers are now post-SPM examination students, they are now either on their way or already in the next phase of life-the pre-university life. There were differences among the journeys of these people: some of them have gone abroad to continue their studies; some of them obliged and conducted their national service duties; some of them started pre-university studies in local private colleges; some of them killed the vacant time between end of examination and release of examination results by taking up part-time jobs etc.

And we embrace and celebrate those differences. And we believe that through reality tale-telling, we can inspire people to aspire, hence the enrichment of life.

Like last year, thefourlobes would not be a periodical publication, but depends on material availability basis. If we have materials, we would publish it, and if we don’t, then there’s no publication for that day (or week, but we do try our best to produce at least one per week). Our materials would mainly from contributions by invited writers (and hopefully readers as well) but we would source out to online-published articles that are relevant to the thefourlobes’ theme.

thefourlobes wouldn’t go commercialised or having any advertisements on the pages. In other words, all the efforts are in the name of volunteerism.

Last words: Do write in to us at and share your work or story with everyone. And keep the literary passion burning in you!

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