Disappear Poof VOILA

Okay so it has been a while.

I got transported into an alternate dimension… the dimension of STRESS!!!

Exactly 2 years since I left Melbourne for Kuala Lumpur during the beginnings of the Pandemic, I’m finally back (temporarily).

I didn’t expect it either. I was having fun celebrating my birthday and accepting one more year of being in the tropics, when the Immigration Dept of Australia dropped an enlivened visa in my inbox.
Shoutout to all of the Covid19-affected temporary graduate visa holders who campaigned for this, I didn’t know it was a thing.

It was a surprise brick-through-a-window. I had accepted that I wouldn’t be back until 2023 for Undisclosed Jinx Reasons, so I put in all the work to establish myself fully in Kuala Lumpur — got a great accountant, refurbished my studio, invested in streaming gadgetry — stuff I was expecting to use another year more. But then this visa came, and I couldn’t let it go to waste, so I jumped right into the STRESS VORTEX.

  • Renewed my long-expired passport. Also updated my donkey-years national id card while I was there. The old ID card had a picture of me from when I was 12 with the grandma glasses and hamburger smile. The new one is very goth and looks amazing (for a government issued photo). Sadly the same cannot be said of the passport.
  • Received psychic damage actually going through the process of booking for travel and preparing my papers for immigration in the age of Pandemic. There’s so much paperwork now! How could anyone think short-term travel is worth it given the extra hoops to jump? I’m not saying it isn’t good we have covid checks, I am just saying it’s a stark difference from how travel was in 2019/early 2020. Can’t just book a ticket and get a travel visa simply anymore.
  • Got culture shock from the way Melburnians are just so oddly chill as if the pandemic didn’t happen??? No mask indoors and outdoors?? The number of cases in the state is almost comparable to Malaysia’s, and yet…
    I suppose one can argue that even with Malaysia’s compulsory masking and vaccination-validated check-in, it still is not more effective than Melbourne’s no mask, almost no check-in approach. But I felt safer when everyone was masked and mostly triple-vaccinated. So…………..
  • I have mostly been stuck in my apartment. Mostly because I self-imposed a quarantine after my arrival from the airport, then getting my vaccination certificate into the Australian system (I can’t go to restaurants or libraries or museums without it), then a few days hiding from the influx of the Grand Prix crowd, and then another week because I was a close contact (lol thanks to my dearly loved relative).
  • Really, it’s not that much different from how I have been living in Kuala Lumpur. Still I enjoy having a space all to myself and getting to cook again, learning new recipes.

Anyway,

I have until September to enjoy my little residency here. Get things done, get paperwork (ugh more paperwork) sorted for Undisclosed Jinx Project, hopefully check a few things from my bucket list.

I am glad to be home.

Hello, hello

Reimena Yee is a graphic novelist, artist and flamingo enthusiast.

She writes and illustrates quite a few webcomics and graphic novels. When not making books, she lulls away her time with essays on craft, life and experiences in the publishing industry. Some of her thoughts of art and life are rather unstructured and will evolve over time as this blog matures, as they should be.

Currently committed to being Alexander the Great's death doula. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.

Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur

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