Right here…

Actually, we had already gone for Melissa’s convocation in December last year in New Zealand. She was doing a TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) degree programme, twinning with the Victoria University of Wellington there…

1st Class Hons.

…and one could opt to attend the ceremony there or here…or both. Well, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, Melissa wanted to go to the local one as most of her friends were not at the one in NZ and she would like to take this opportunity to get together with them, knowing that once everyone has started working, chances like this would be few and far between.

So there we were at the graduation ceremony at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre…

PICC

…where they were holding the convocation for all the different faculties in all the teacher-training institutes throughout the country. There were various sessions, of course, as it would be virtually impossible to accommodate everyone at one go and the one for languages – Malay and English – was the 1st one on Monday, 27th May, 2013.

We were informed that we had to be there by 7.00 in the morning…

Putrajaya at dawn

…and luckily, my friend, Ivan, stays nearby and was able to go to the hotel to get us at around 6.30 and drop us off at the venue at the break of dawn.

Unfortunately, as usually would be the case with our Malaysian rubber time, it did not start till 9.30 and even before this, there were bumps along the way. Initially, they fixed the date on the 29th and luckily, I did not bother to make all the necessary bookings. Subsequently, they changed it to the 27th and those who had already booked the air tickets and hotel had to go through it all over again to make the necessary changes and as everyone knows, these days, you can’t change your flights for free – one will have to pay the penalty and it is, by no means, a small amount.

I wished they did not hold such things during the school holidays as the airfares would be extra expensive, even if there were seats available. With everybody coming home for the Gawai Festival, there were no seats in the direct flights via the national airline and nothing cheap in the so-called cheap airline – I had to pay over RM700.00 per person return! That was why I decided that we might as well spend a few days enjoying ourselves in KL, after we were done with all this, and come back on the 2nd of June – after the festival day on the 1st.

Other than that, no doubt it would have been a lot more convenient if they were to hold the convocation at some place in KL and the surrounding areas instead of all the way in Putrajaya. The hotels are expensive (and I did not know then that they have a new one now opposite the shopping complex there – that I would have been able to afford using my government pensioner privilege) and public transport isn’t that easily available unless one makes prior bookings in advance. We stayed around KLIA in Sepang (and luckily, I had friends to help out with our transport to and fro)…and I heard there were people staying in Puchong or Kajang…or even KL!

Anyway, since we were there early, we were able to snap a few photographs…

Mel 1

…together…

Family

…before we went into the grand auditorium to wait…wait…and wait…for the ceremony to begin.

Photographs were not allowed inside but I did manage to snap one of Melissa after she had received her scroll and had come down from the stage…

Mel 2

…and was walking back to her seat.

After that, I went to the washroom…and from there, I sneaked out (we were told not to leave before the ceremony was over) and did not bother to go back into the auditorium again as by then, I was already in dire need of some fresh air… Ahem! Ahem! LOL!!!!