Arizona (or phoenix) is well known for it’s sunny weather all year long and in fact, the temperature during Summer last year actually broke the charts at over 47 degrees or a little over 100F. But surprisingly, there was rain all week long in Phoenix and from what I have been told again and again, this heavy downpour is not something that happens in a few consecutive days. Usually the rain only comes down in several droplets but the rain all week was comparable to the not-so heavy rain in KL. The rain was heavy but it was pouring for at most 3 hours then it was cloudy skies for the most part. It could have something to do with global warming or something but I’m glad that it happened before class started.
But yeah, the rain was a little bitch this week but that didn’t stop me from getting to know Phoenix. Well, it was mostly the ASU Tempe campus but you get what I mean. Something that I explicitly left out from the previous article is that Americans for the most part are pretty friendly in how they converse and welcome you. The American Airlines 777-200 plane that I took from Tokyo to Dallas was pretty horrible but the air stewardess gave me my first point of contact to the American culture. Compared to Japan Airlines, the air stewardess on American Airlines felt better. It’s not that the JAL service was bad but the Americans onboard the plane had their own way of treating me as a passenger. Most notably is that Americans just can’t stop talking. They go on and on.
But going back to topic, most of the Americans I have met on the streets or in the University are pretty friendly. It could just be that I have been going around the campus area but give or take, Americans are more outgoing that Malaysians. Take for example on the street, in Malaysia, close to nobody says ‘Hi’ or ‘How are you doing’ because the mindset is that anyone can be that ‘bad guy’. But in America, just about everyone greets on another or by the least look up to you and smile. The same can be said about the bus drivers and cashiers, they just love to strike a conversation and again, this never happens in Malaysia. bus drivers and cashiers just give you that poker face unless you’re in one of those popular cafes run by the younger generation.
Other than learning about the American culture this week, I also moved in to my dorm. The room is quite OK right now but I am still having a little reservations about the top mounted bed which is so damn close to the ceiling. One of these days, I’ll most likely hit my head on the wall when I wake up. Still getting used to the sound of airplanes flying up and about as the airport is just a few miles (see what I did there, I used miles instead of kilometres cause they do call it miles here in the US). But other than that. everything about this 4 man room feels quite decent. It’s just that my roomates have yet to arrive, so it’s like my personal suite still.
Ah, orientation. The time where you just continuously tell someone about your name and where you come from. For me, the main reason why I attended the orientation was to get the free food for 2 days. Cause food is not exactly that affordable given the current exchange rate between the Malaysian Ringgit and the US Dollar. But yeah, food was great and through this orientation, I met a lot of students from China. They’re basically everywhere in orientation. There’s probably 50% of China people there.
I talked to a couple of chinese people and their english is not too bad actually and they do have a facebook account. From what I know, there is 5 Malaysians joining ASU in Spring 2016 and I am the only transfer student. The other three that I know are freshman. And then there is that one Singaporean girl that I met which is not exactly a Singaporean. It’s just that she has been studying in Singapore since JC and that she’s actually attending ASU as an exchange student. The so-called girl from Singapore is actually a China resident studying in NUS. I actually did not know she was from China until the second day because her english sounded so normal, only until my friend told me that she was from China that I realized this. Her english sounded normal but her chinese had that China accent.
The free food was probably the highlight of this orientation but the talks by ASU lecturers about various topics was pretty good. It was miles better than the orientation program that I had in Sunway.
Orientation is not the only new thing that I experienced. The US is full of things that Malaysia does not have. Netflix definitely isn’t part of that list of things now but being able to watch The Biggest Loser on NBC is a definite joy and things like accessing YouTube Red and even the Google Store feels cool.