Monday, 7 April 2014

New Chapter in an Old Place

Faces of disbelief and shock were seen when I appeared in school, on the 30th of April 2014.

I had so many colleagues coming to me asking whether I was back to visit or stay. They expressed their concern for me, some comforted me, while most of them welcomed me back with open arms - something I was extremely thankful for.

The first week was probably one of the craziest ride. Since I knew I was going to return to Gua Musang, I was certain that I wanted to try new things this year and make major changes - including looking for a new accommodation. So while I was still in New Zealand, I was in contact with my pastors here in GM and with their help, they contacted Aunty Kim who found me several options to choose from. However, there was some misunderstanding and the option that I felt the most comfortable with turned out to be a room on top of a shop lot instead of 'a room within a double-storey house.' Even so, we decided to have a look at it...

The stairway leading up to the room had a grill door. Once you opened up the wooden door upstairs, you will see this...

On the right, there's the toilet / washroom

which I later found out that the lights and showers were not working... And the toilet bowl must have been clogged as every morning, a horrible stench would come up from the sewage... @_@

I actually had to shower the first night with the door open as there was no light. The landlady after been informed the next day, immediately got the lights repaired and replaced.

This place also comes with a small pantry

Picture above is actually taken after I did a major clean up of the place. Imagine the place cramped with bags after bags of rotten stuff, lizard's poo everywhere, rusty kitchen utensils, and slimy substances....

Then, there's the room...

I couldn't even capture all the details of the room due to the constraint of space... but basically it has a mahjong table filled with weird stuff in the chips drawers, posters, cutouts, a bed, a broken couch, a massage bed, an old air-cond that constantly scares me with it's jumpiness when switched on, especially when there were sparks lol, a fan that couldn't turn sideways and fixed to be in place with strings, a chair with wheels and torn leather, bags and bags of weird stuff hidden in all corners of the room, acupuncture doll etc etc

When I saw the place, I was actually okay with it as I am someone with very low expectations lol. I saw there was an air-cond, water heater, and thought 'hey, this place could work!' So without wanting my parents to worry about my accommodation, I was quite happy to settle in this place, and spent the rest of the day cleaning up as much as I could after my parents left.

That was when things kinda went a lil downhill......

When I was done with the room cleaning, I just wanted to shower... and guess what... I found out that the toilet light was out.

I still managed to give myself a quick wash, before realising that there was no water after 8pm...

I was still able to be thankful that I had kept my two pails filled with water. Then I realised that the wooden door could not be closed, let alone locked T_______T

So I basically spent my whole night praying for protection and sleeping with uneasiness as the door kept flinging open (towards outside) as the wind was rather strong that night.

Slowly, the problems of the place kept adding up... I found a hole in the corner of the ceiling where lizardsssssssssss kept going in and out from; there was no water from 7pm ish till 1-2am everyday; the stench from the toilet was overpowering; due to no basins, I had to wash dishes and whatnot in the smelly toilet; the air-cond can only function possibly 1 out of 5 times; I found used instant noodle cups outside on the stairway leading to my room (there were prople lepaking right outside of my living quarters)... and yet, I was still trying hard to hold on and be strong.....


That fateful night.

I was in deep sleep, completely knocked out from school. Suddenly, I heard ruffling noises. Thinking it was possibly from outside since I lived on top of a shop lot, I ignored the noises. Next thing I know, water was dripping on my face waking me up!!!

Startled, I switched on the light only to find my ceiling was LEAKING!

Immediately I jumped up, saw my extension cables and electrical stuff were all super near to the wet patches, and moved them quickly to dry places!!!!! There and then, I shocked myself with a total breakdown.

I cried, and cried, and cried.

Though it was rather late, I was feeling so alone and scared, I picked up the phone and called my dad.

Still crying uncontrollably, I told him what happened. I knew I must have given him a shock as well. He stayed up to check on me, advised me, while I did as much damage control as I could...

Not sure whether you can see, but basically the leakage spreads....and that was in the bedroom. Hence I could not use a pail to contain the drippings, so I gathered as many towels as i could (including the ones left by the old tenant) and spread them out all over the affected parts ....

By the time I fell asleep, it was way past 3am... and needless to say, I woke up with super swollen eyes...

Be scared.


If not for that whole incident with the leaking ceilings, I might not have made the decision to change accommodation and stop lying to myself that I am fine with that living condition.

I was quite frustrated because I did spend three days to clean up the place and made it 'livable'... But definitely, it wasn't the place for me long-term wise...

Just to show you some little stuff here and there that I included in that room of mine...

So much cleaning, scrubbing, throwing, moving and decorating to make the room pleasant to me... So sad that I had to leave, even at the risk of losing the 300 bucks that I had paid.... It was just a decision that has to be made.

Thankfully, when I was in nomadic mode, Nadia and Saqinah both offered their places to me...
I went with Nadia for the first night of homelessness... and was pleasantly greeted with a bed with new clean sheets, and scented candle burned in the room :')

Interestingly, that same day (it was freaking April Fool lols), I received missed calls from an unknown number and a text message from SL, a TESL teacher just posted into Gua Musang! Immediately I called back after my classes and found out that she was coming to GM with her dad from Kota Bahru, and will be looking for accommodation.... Whatever that happened after that was too much and too heavy to be narrated in detail, so to cut the story short, after a whole day of phone calls and arrangements, SL became my new housemate.

How we found this current house is like a whole miracle on its own too. She told me she had a few options in Taman Tropika for us to look at. Leaving the topic at that, I went to school and met a close colleague who lives in Taman Tropika. So we chatted and I told her my situation and our interest in looking for a new place. She then told me she knows someone who has a nice house to sell, but will ask whether that someone will be willing to rent the place to us. While on the phone, that someone (let's call her K) said that someone else is also asking her about her place, and that someone else turned out to be SL lol! How small is the world that SL was posted to K's school, and became colleagues, were talking about the house when my colleague called her up!

K has been a really great landlady. She and her husband fixed things up for us in the house, and were really nice and flexible in many areas. We love this new place, definitely a lot more than my old place (SL could not stand that place after only one night of bunking with me hahahahaha), and we have been making ourselves feel at home by adding essentials and also purchasing a fridge! hehehe

Here's a look at our new humble abode~

Fan with remote control and air-conditioning in the living room!

Our kitchen

We turned the 3rd room (that's much smaller) into our so-called 'walk-in closet' lol. 

The bathroom

The toilet

The living room (that came with the couch and streamxy yo)

and lastly,
my cosy lil space...

The greatest lesson I learned from that past week of drama was that - God protects and provides.

With the incident of ceiling leakage, I felt like I was being woken up by God, or His angels, just in time before the water gets to the electrical stuff.

And when I took that huge step of faith, to move out from those walls (a place where I knew of the problems yet stubbornly tried to held on to), stepped into the uncertainty of homelessness, God arranged for me to meet SL, to move into this new place that could provide me the shelter and comfort throughout this tough time of separating from my husband by being back in Gua Musang.

At my most vulnerable moments, when I was unafraid to show my Lord how weak and scared I was, He delivered me, and surrounded me with love and care in form of very good friends here in GM, very concerned parents and a very supportive husband.

Stepping into the unknown, could be a scary thing. But I learned, if God is for us, who can be against us.

Right now, the song that came to my mind is..

"I walk, by faith,
each step, I take,
to live, by faith,
I put my trust in You." 

A new day, a new challenge.
Lord, refresh me with your grace, make me anew, each waking moment.

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