I reported duty at the university in July 2007. As a lecturer, I was just like any other government officers working in the government sectors. I had to wait for three months before I get my first pay. That means, three months without salary. 

I had to follow my brother who rode his motorcycle to the university because I didn't own a car. He was a student in the same university. I remember my mother told him, "You have to help bringing Kaklong to the university." 

And he replied, "Ma! What will other girls think of me!" Hmmm, he thought he's the romeo, hahaha. Once he even asked me to step down from the motorcycle because he said I was too heavy and the motorcycle couldn't take it as we were going up the hill. So sad, hahaha.

Sometimes I had classes in Menara (a place for lecture in the university) and I had to walk there. Few times my heels broke. And it was very painful actually to walk down to my office with broken heels. But whenever I met the students on the way, I would still smile at them, hahaha. Pretending that nothing was wrong. 

Picture credit to Google.

There was one time, I was in my office, preparing the slides for my next lecture. And I was so thirsty. When I checked my wallet, I only had RM 0.30 in it. A bottle of mineral water would cost me RM 1. So I just sat there in my office continuing to do my work, and again pretending like nothing happened. At the same time, I tried singing to myself so that I will forget that I was actually very, very thirsty, but couldn't afford to buy a bottle of water. And I had to wait until 6 p.m. because that is when my brother would come and pick me up.

My brother and I were staying with my aunty at that point of time, so basically our basic needs were covered.  I know I could have asked from my parents. But I was too proud to even talk about it in front of them. I had and still have the pride in me. And I think pride is the thing that helped me through the three months without salary. And for that matter, all other hardships in life. You can imagine how I felt when I got my first pay. The first thing I bought was a pair of new shoes! :) 

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