What I did in 2016

Bought a ukulele to fulfil my New Year’s resolution… and never fulfilled it.

I wanted to learn the 4-chord song (made famous by Axis of Awesome). So I bought a ukulele.

And that was it. End of story.

I kept it in my office room. Everyone else who comes into our room probably strums it more often than I do. (Guess what my 2017 New Year’s Resolution will be?)

 

Celebrated my birthday 

I remember that day I was so stressed out because I had too many things I wanted to complete, then someone tapped me on the shoulder and everyone in the room started singing. And I burst into tears.

 

Went to UMSU International’s Night Market.

I remember last year, where we were preparing for our final event, the Night Market 2015. It was massive, and a lot bigger than we had done before. We spent weeks in the office lounge preparing, and I wrote a lot for Facebook to encourage people to come to the event.

And finally, we pulled it off. It was a real accomplishment.

This year, I came back not as an organiser, but as a guest. And it’s really different from this side of the fence.

Not as exciting of course, because there was no buildup for me. But a lot more relaxing, because I didn’t have to do anything except go eat stuff and watch fire shows, so it was pretty good.

 

Went to the Andy Warhol / Ai Wei Wei exhibition. 

I’m not familiar with the work of either artist, but friends kept urging me to go see, and I finally went with Julian. Really worth it, I liked Ai Wei Wei’s political discourse surrounding the Chinese government, and the giant flower wall of course.

NGV hosts some of the best exhibitions, I’m hoping to catch the Viktor and Rolf exhibition before it’s gone.

 

Did a lot of creative work.

I feel like this year at work, we really pushed ourselves to the limits creatively. We did a lot more videos than we ever have done, we put out Evolve magazines that were so vastly different from the previous issues, we created Facebook campaigns that we would previously never have thought of before, and we created opportunities that we didn’t think was possible.

I got to shoot in a childcare centre, and I think that was probably my favourite. Along with supporting my cover girl Daria’s photography exhibition.

 

Attended the MISC Conference.

Again, the MISC Conference this year was also different because I wasn’t part of the organising committee. But I attended as an industry delegate, which means you network with a different set of people.

And the good thing about the Conference is, you always meet someone new. And it’s something that gives you a lot more creativity, inspires you to think in a different way and challenge what you think are your limits.

 

Spent Hari Raya back at home.

Flew back to Singapore in time for Hari Raya, as was foreseen in the stars.

 

Joined in the CMM Reunion. 

Luckily I made it back to Singapore right when the reunion dinner was happening. We only had a small batch of our graduates return on that day, but it was nice to catch up with people again. Especially Selvan and his DOG BITES MAN, MAN BITES DOG mantra.

 

Saw Great Ocean Road (Spoiler Alert: 12 Apostles DO NOT look like Jesus’ Apostles).

I’ve been in Melbourne for 3 years, and still had never gone to Great Ocean Road! Totally overdue for a visit. Apparently, there are only 8 of the original 12 apostles left. Not sure whether to blame climate change or just general soil erosion.

Also met an emu on the way, nbd.

 

Attempted to milk a cow (but didn’t 🙁 )

I really wanted to go milk a cow, so I checked Collingwood children’s farm, where they stated that there were 2 milking times – 10am and 4pm. Just my luck, they only had one timing at 10am but didn’t think to make that change on the website.

So I had to make do with dry brushing the cow, which is sorta exciting too. Next time I can force myself to wake up before 10am, I’ll come by and actually milk the cow.

 

Celebrated African Night at The Couch.

Every few months, The Couch will organise a Night dedicated to a certain culture. I’ve been to a few, but I don’t actually remember what they were. I only remember a Korean Night, and this African Night.

The African Night celebrated the diverse cultures in Africa and the various art they use to express themselves, like Slam Poetry and Dancing.

 

Moved The Couch (which sounds like some heavy-duty furniture lifting)

Celebrated the last day of The Couch on Bourke Street, and the first day in Carlton. The Couch is an amazing place to make new friends and help international students (this year I helped a girl who needed a new accommodation, friends who needed to go home, and people who weren’t sure what to do in the next journey of their life).

Unfortunately, due to a lack of government funding, The Couch is currently closed but we’re finding different ways to bring it back. Stay tuned.

Also shot for this:

 

Did photoshoots (of course).

I love this hair-flinging photoshoot which I did with long-time friend Andrew Coulter. He did 366 days of photography, which sounds like absolute insanity, but he seemed to have handled that very well.

 

And some filming.

Managed to shoot this short piece with Ngee Ann Polytechnic. The lecturer was around (which is the first time I’ve ever seen that) but it made things a lot faster and more creative, which is always exciting.

See video here.

 

Shot a commercial for FYA – Foundation for Young Australians.

Became a unicorn for a day (because unicorns are AH-MAY-ZING), and most of all, had the opportunity to sit with a community I usually don’t hang out with: the LGBTQs who that day opened up to me enough about their own journey and their struggles.

 

Acted in a film that ended up showing in St Kilda Film Festival.

This film was really fun because we drove to Mornington to shoot it. And the crew went all out to hire underwater filming equipment and diving suits to shoot underwater scenes. It was really cold at first though!

I remember one scene where I walk calmly into the water till I’m ankle-deep, then pause for dramatic effect. And the second they called cut, I was screaming my way out of the water.

 

Celebrated Dashain for the first time.

The first time I participated in this cultural festival, because a colleague invited us over to his house. I had no idea about most of the things, especially whether the banana they gave us were for eating or solely for the ritual!

 

Became obsessed with Boost Juice and Starbucks.

That’s the problem I have when my office is so conveniently located near a Boost Juice and Starbucks store, and they offer rewards like getting a 10th drink free and other freebies. I now have cards for both of them, when a year ago I barely drank them.

And the fact that every other cafe that offers hot chocolate uses boring chocolate powder, but Starbucks has amazing hot chocolate (do they melt real chocolate or something?).

 

Took the plunge and went blonde… twice!

I wanted to try going blonde to see what it looks like. Went around to plenty of hair salons (including one owned by a friend) and ended up with Zucci in David Jones.

Jade was really nice and I felt like she was the one who understood what I wanted and what was best for my hair, and offered to do a balayage (so it looks better when the roots grow). I really liked her! (And felt like I was betraying the friend who owns a hair salon because I didn’t go to her instead :S )

So I decided to go blonder – and Jade had moved to a different Zucci salon but that wasn’t going to stop me from going to her. And she even decided to give me different strands of blonde instead of just one shade so the different shades will help give the face more definition.

PapaWu and MamaWu will undoubtedly be very upset… but oh well. I’m young. Plenty of time for regrets.

 

Met up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. 

Jian Fen and I have not seen each other for 10 years since our internship in Singapore. Then she went to Melbourne for her Bachelors and came back, right when I came for my Masters. Can you believe it?

 

Said goodbye to friends.

Sasswat and Jessica came all the way from America to Australia to go to Cambodia. 🙁 I hope I’ll see them again. They are always loads of fun and ready to try something new. (And cook for other people, that’s important too).

Also said goodbye to Rika who permanently returned to Japan, Axel who returned to Paris and Robin who returned to Vietnam. Saying goodbye is hard.

 

Went to Yarra Valley

Not my first time going, but it’s such a gorgeous place especially if you go on a hot day. Which was what happened, we got very lucky. The day before and the day after were rainy days, but that exact day was 31 degrees.

And the fact that we ended off the trip with a visit to a chocolate factory was the best thing ever.

 

Visited New Zealand for the first time.

New Zealand is just a place that my Australian friends really want to go, but never do for some reason. Maybe because they think “it’s just there” and that there are more exotic places to spend a long holiday.

Either way, there was mad jealousy going around when I announced I was going to New Zealand. Everyone asked if I went to Hobbiton (I didn’t), whether I skydived (I didn’t) or if I went to Christchurch (I didn’t). So what did I do?

Ate a lot of Indian food, strangely.

 

Went on a boat twice.

Once in New Zealand (see I DID do something exciting in New Zealand!) and a second time for this year’s Staff Party. No photos unfortunately, because I was taking photos of other people that I forgot to take photos of myself.

I did dance with the CEO though, which was absolutely hilar.

 

Christmas parties.

Thank you Hope, for organising a fun Christmas party! It was really nice to meet people of different cultures and learn more about the Filipino culture. And thank you to Andrew again, for his photography.

 

Celebrated a very Meld-y Christmas.

This year’s Meld Christmas party was really different. This year, we had 2 babies join us.

That’s what happens when you have founders who are older than you, and married. They start the next phase of their lives struggling with babies, and we enjoy playing with said babies.

I really liked them! And not bragging, but they liked me the most. Both comfortably slept in my arms while they wriggled in others, and the parents sighed in relief so they could do adult things like drink wine without baby drool dripping down their shirts.

 

Spent Christmas at Golden Beach.

Best for last! Spent Christmas away from Melbourne city and relaxed on beaches. It was really funny because on the second day, all the girls wore dresses as though it was an uninitiated code. Luckily I bought a dress on the way myself so we could all be twinning.

 

Lots of bad events happened in 2016, in politics, the economy, terrorism acts. There were a lot of days where I felt uneasy, particularly after the US election.

But at the same time, there were many good things that happened too, and not just on a personal level but a global level. I hope 2017 comes on a good note, and I’m sure there will be plenty to look forward to.

Here’s to the end of 2016!

 

What’s the highlights of your 2016?

Much Love,

Fari Wu

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