It was a hot Tuesday afternoon and all I wanted to be at is inside an air-conditioned room, preferably blowing straight at my face and not at the bus stop beside a very dusty road. As cars rush by and as I tried so hard to not let the wind blow my skirt off to expose my, you know, yes that, I waited there for the taxi. Unfortunately, my wait was wasted when the free shuttle bus and a bunch of taxis refused to take me in, of all days right! So I had to walk to the nearest taxi stand to get one (which was still quite a walk away).
When the taxi dropped me off, I rushed into this foreign university hoping I won’t get lost. I didn’t, thankfully. I saw two familiar faces at the Student Services Centre and I knew I was at the right place. A few pictures with the whole group later, we were ushered into the bus to go to the airport. Here it is!
When we reached the airport, we assembled ourselves for another group photo then finally situated ourselves strategically at the corner of the arrival door of the airport while holding the banner high up, our eyes looking at the door like a hawk.
Twenty minutes later, we were still there, waiting and wondering. The banner by now was only supported by very few people. 40 minutes later and after a lot of eyes our way from arriving and waiting guests at the arrival door, we were still there. Now, the banner which was held by the little amount of people were slowly slipping onto the floor. Everybody groaned in exhaustion while Ken, the student coordinator, was going around and cheering us on. “Smile everybody! Smile wide, eyes bright! He’s coming!” He has been saying that for the past half hour and yet, he is still not out, but we didn’t give up.
All of the sudden, he rolled in, literally. It was Nick in his electric wheelchair ‘driving’ himself out of the arrival door and towards us. Hugging some VIPs first, he slowly made his way to us and greeted us. “Hi guys! Thank you for the warm welcome!” he said, after we shouted, “Welcome to Malaysia, Nick!”
After the group picture, Nick was ushered away by the crowd of university photographers and videographes and the VIPs, even some random individuals, while we the students stood by the sideline trying to register what just happened. “He’s here!” I told myself.
Some students managed to go to the car that he was in and took pictures with him then proceeding back in to the airport and proudly showing the evidence of their achievement to their friends. “Wait what! You managed to take pictures with him! How unfair!” I heard some said.
When the excitement died down, we made our way back to the bus only to be greeted by Nick’s producer and videographer; Jens and Lance. As the journey back home was halfway over, I decided to gain the courage to sit beside them and talk to them. Although awkward at first, the awkwardness and tension slowly eased away as we got to know about each other and their work more.
According to Jens, this was Nick’s South East Asian tour and they are to make a short documentary out of it and will feature this documentary on Nick’s Youtube channel. Previously from Manila, their plan after Malaysia was to visit Vietnam; all three countries within the span of three days! What a hectic schedule! I told them about Malaysian food and some Malaysian phrases that they could use during their short stay here.
When we arrived at the hotel where they stayed, Jens and Lance introduced me to the whole crew as Lance excitedly greeted everyone with “terima kasih sama-sama”. He’s a fast learner! Everyone of the crew was really friendly and I felt right at home. After a quick photo, I walked back home to get ready for the big event of the day; the garden dinner that Top 10 slogan contestant winners were invited to!
When I arrived at the dinner, I was in awe. The setting was beautiful and we were beside a lake glittered by small yellow lights. It was so romantic! We made our way to our seat and I chatted with new friends who was just as lucky as me to be getting in to the Top 10! We sharedour experiences about how we created our slogans and the process of
urging inviting people to LIKE the slogans to normal topics such as school and life in general. Everyone was really nice and we had a lot of laughs while waiting for Nick to arrive.
Then finally, the man of the hour came and dinner was served!
Everybody got to say hi to Nick personally, even us! All of us said hi, and took turns to hug and took pictures with him. It was surreal especially when you’ve heard of him from such a long time ago and watched his interview with Oprah Winfrey and here he is, hugging you! It’s crazy! I was ecstatic!
Throughout the night, I was hanging with Nick’s crazy crew. They were hilarious! I enjoyed being with them. We talked about a lot of things and I was telling them about the food that was there that night; roti boom, laksa and teh tarik. Everyone seemed enthusiast at guessing the ingredients of the food too.
Then they had a teh tarik pulling performance which was normal for us, but interesting for them to watch. Some of the guys also tried in the teh tarik pulling fiesta! Though some failed, some were actually pretty good at not spilling the tea!
After the teh tarik fiesta (or fiasco? Lol.), we ended the night with some pretty wacky pictures.
Look ma, boys!
I love the last picture! When I shouted, “Pose like a sexy model!“, everyone did their thing! Haha!
After a few hugs and goodbyes, we went back home; bellies full and laughs laughed (does that makes sense?). Lol. Needless to say, the night was a fun one! I had tons of fun. Obviously right? *points up* Haha!
Next up, Nick Vujicic’s talk!
‘PART TWO: NICK VUJICIC’S TALK’ COMING UP SOON…