This is a long due post to begin with. It is written in English only for one reason, which is to allow my ex-roommate to be able to read, as this post is dedicated to our friendship.
Absence makes the heart grows fonder. It has always been so. I am currently in Taipei, and Alvin is in Melbourne. This is the first time in Medical School we did not see each other when a new term begins. In a cold and quiet night like this (12 degree Celsius), I take time to recall what this friendship has imprinted on me throughout the past four years.
Perhaps it is good to start with how we got to know each other. It was back in 2012, the year which was supposed to be the year of apocalypse. On my first day at Taylor’s College, I remember vividly how the students introduced themselves. Alvin was wearing a black T shirt with “We were Cash less, and we are Job less”, referring to the passing away of Johnny Cash and Steve Jobs. During that one and a half years, we were sort of in the same circle because we were sitting at the same side of the aisle of desks. Those were wonderful days.
In 2014, I dragged my feet to Monash. I never thought I would be ended up here. My mum’s friend found me a single room in a landed house. The place is quite a distance from Monash, and it only has a mattress and a coffee shop table. I did not want to stay there. I heard that Alvin was going to Monash as well, so I called him up to enquire what was his accommodation arrangement. I visited the Residence and thought it was a decent place to stay, but it does not provide single room. However, I was told I could stay with friends with additional charge of RM 100. I contacted Alvin again, and that’s how we became roommates.
I always hear the amazement of other people when they know we could stay together for such a long time with no problems. I would say it just happened that we could adapt to each other’s habit rather well. On top of that, Alvin has an altruistic personality. He is always my instant help when I need it.
For the first two years of medical school, he has to cope with a depressed roommate. He was the sole audience of my personal matters, and he knew me inside out. In the first year, I was clinically depressed because I could not further my studies in overseas. In the second year, I was hit by relationship problems.
There were too many great moments we spent together, which I can’t possibly write it all here. The heart-to-heart talks at night, the gossip time and so on. We tried cooking instant noodles using hot water and a container since cooking is not allowed in the hostel. The good thing was we had the chance to cook so many good food once we moved to JB. I miss his chicken rice, and I definitely will try cooking it again. In Year 4, we went all the way to look for shooting stars with others, but in vain. And of course, Alvin took care of me when I was admitted to the hospital in Year 3.
One of his good characters I appreciate most is, Alvin is willing to spend time with his friends. When I isolated myself last time, he would accompany me for meals even though he has eaten already. This action absolutely helped in my recovery from depression.
Even though we will not see each other as often, I believe our friendship will remain. I am looking forward to the day we will meet and talk about it again years later. Alvin has visited me in Butterworth, and it shall be my turn to visit him next time. I guess his residence will be the first place I set foot in East Malaysia. Till then, all the best to Alvin, may God bless you.