Mid-Semester Break: What are you up to?

The long Easter weekend is coming to an end and I trust that most of you had actually retained some memories from the past 3 days.


If your response is a “Gaaaa … what day is it?”, it’s okay, I understand. Go back to bed. But before you close the curtains and heed the call of the pillow, I’ll advise you to drink at least 1 litre of water. Your liver needs some tender loving too.


And sleep on your side.


So the Easter weekend is coming to a close and the next 6 days of the mid-semester break stretches out across the temporal horizon. You stand at the cliff’s edge of the Easter break and stare at it, basking in the glory and wonder of the 6 days mid-semester break. Until you realized that University of Melbourne get a 14 days mid-semester break.


So, 6 days. How are you going to spend it?


But first thing first, how was your Easter weekend? The ones who are suffering from alcohol-induced amnesia, go back to sleep. You obviously had a good time and are now suffering from the consequences. For the rest, I hope you had an enjoyable Easter weekend, especially with the great weather we had in the past few days, with Sunday as an exception.


My Easter weekend went pretty well. I started it with a bang at SUAMS (Sydney Univeristy Association of Malaysian Students) Traffic Light Party on Thursday night. You know, the party where the traffic colours denote your dating availability. I saw a lot of red and yellows, but no green though. Most guys, including me, decided to pussy out and wear the usual blues, purples, greys, whites and blacks. One thing has always bothered me though, how do people with colour blindness differentiate the singles from the complicated and the taken? Especially in dark environments like pubs and clubs?


Hmmm…. a food for thought.


But the Traffic Light Party was awesome and there were close to 600 or 700 people at the Bristol Arms Retro Hotel. It was a menagerie of Malaysian students from the four Sydney universities: USYD (we get first mention!), UTS, UNSW and Macquire. Of course, my fellow Singaporeans, always up for a good time, decided to gate crash the party. It later led to an all-out pub brawl that spilt onto the streets of Sussex.


Just kidding. Everyone had a great time with no bloodshed.


Friday was spent recuperating. And drinking lots of water.


On Saturday, I went kayaking at Mosman (near Manly Beach) with 24 Unimates people. By 11 o’clock, the sun hot and bright. But the salty sea breeze was cooling and the waters were inviting. I would have taken a quick dip if I wasn’t battling the waves as my friend and I paddled out to the mouth of the harbour where the ocean beckoned to us. We would have gone further if the guy from the kayaking company had not sped to us on his jet ski and told us to turn back.


After two hours, I was suffering from sore arms and shoulders and a cramped back. But it was good. I loved the solitude, the peaceful, monotonous motions of propelling the little kayak foward, and the strenuous physical workout it gave. It gave me time to quietly contemplate and to release some stress.


At the same time, I love the thrill of paddling against the waves, winds, and currents that threaten to dash me against the murderous rocks or someone’s yacht. I also love the thrill when some big yacht is bearing down on me while I furiously try to paddle out of their way.


So yeah, the Unimates kayaking event was bloody awesome. And according to tradition, we took a group photo after the kayaking event:



You must be wondering why the guy on the far left is circled.


Well, you see, he’s a photobomber. A very efficient one. We had people photobombing Unimates group shots before. So it’s nothing new. But what drew my attention to him is that he’s holding a towel from the University of Sydney Union. The first thing that came to my mind was: damn it, I want that towel. The second thing was: he’s most likely from USYD. The third thing? I actually bumped into him while kayaking (I’m using the word ‘bump’ metaphorically). He called to me across the harbour but I couldn’t hear him. From the way he behaved, it seemed like he recognized me. But I couldn’t remember where I met him, so I continued my blissful paddling across the ocean.


So what’s so interesting about him?


At first, I thought he was with the group. But one of the event leaders, Andrew, told me that he wasn’t part of the group. So maybe he was just a USYD student that happened to be there on the same day, same time with Unimates. Just coincidence.


And big deal, any person can end up with a USU towel.


But… it’s too coincidental. He seemed to know who I was and that Unimates was there. I mean, he was trying to paddle towards me while I was paddling furiously away from him (I need my space, even on water). And that photobomb, that shot, it’s just too perfect. It’s as if he was waiting there, silently biding his time until he could stand behind us with the glory of the lion unfold.


Therefore, the mystery of the USU Towel guy deepens. Who he is, I know not. What he wants, I guess not.


I spent Sunday recuperating from kayaking.


So basically, that’s how I spent my Easter. Right now, like you, I have six days of mid-semester break spread out before me. And I’ve decided what to do with those six days:


Eating bacon for breakfast. Every, single day.

What? I’m going to hunker down and spend the rest of my break doing assignments and essays, considering how the professors from the Arts Faculty love scheduling all the due dates after the break. I need some brain food! And bacon is the best way to go about that.

But it doesn’t always have to be all study and no play. Right now, a group of Unimates people is having fun at Adelaide. Tomorrow, another group will be going off for a 2 days surf camp (organized by Unimates PR Officer).

So go out, take a breather from your studies. According to Sydney’s schizophrenic weather patterns, we’re looking at a week of sun. However, do expect some rain on Wednesday.

Last but not least, in the next coming weeks, we will be having our AGM (Annual General Meeting). All committee positions will be open to all Unimates members with Access cards and all positions have a one-year term (June to May). Yep, that’s right, even the President position will be open. Fret not, I’m stepping down anyway. But I’ll still be around to help out from time to time.

So if you want to bring Unimates to greater heights (and help win the Best Club Award since 2008), and organize more awesome events for International and Exchange students, do consider in running for a position. Honestly, it’ll be the best time of your life. That’s why I’ve been trapped in the committee for 2 years (ahem, against my will, actually).

More information and details about the AGM and the specifics of each position will be out sometime in April. So watch this space, and the Facebook group, and check your email regularly for our newsletter and check Twitter (if you have an account).

I hope you’ll have an enjoyable Easter weekend and mid-semester break.

For Fun, For Friendship, Forever

Zareth Lim

President of Unimates


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