Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…

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New York was amazing!

I returned from my fall break trip to New York with a heavy heart. It has only been a few months since I had left my hometown of Penang, and being a city boy, I loved every bit of New York City; the traffic, the buildings, the noise and even the rude people.

Yes I realized that I am a city boy after all. Even though it may be more stressful, I somehow like being in the fray.

It was a really short trip. We (a group of 25 international students) managed to cover quite a few sites in our brief visit to the Big Apple. We saw the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Ground Zero and the Empire State Building… all in one day.

It was my second trip to the city that never sleeps. I was pretty indifferent when the bus approached Manhattan. But what I loved about arriving at New York City was watching the reactions of my peers who were about to visit arguably the most famous city in the world for the first time. Some were ecstatic, others speechless and one started playing Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” from her iPhone. Priceless.

The one thing that really caught my attention this time around was the diversity of NYC. Everywhere I went, I heard different languages being spoken by different people. Even in Chinatown, where one would assume the common language to be Mandarin Chinese, I heard at least five different dialects of Chinese. All of which I have never heard of. That is strange for me…because I know three dialects. It is amazing how these people come from all over the world to make a living and could all coexist in one big city. Not to be stereotypical, but I also noticed a pattern in how certain groups of people have certain jobs; especially in the Times Square area. I will not, however, specify the groups and match them to the particular jobs that I’ve taken notice of.

I felt pretty sad when we left New York. But I made a promise to myself that one day I will return to New York. It wouldn’t even matter what the reason is for my return. In the meantime, it is back to Alliance for me, but hey, Alliance is a nice place too.

Till next time, New York.

Goodbye. Adiós. 再见. Selamat Tinggal.

Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.