When it was decided that the next phase of my life would be far away from my family, preparations were made. We found out that a second cousin of mine was actually attending the residential school that was moving south to Johor Bahru. I do not remember who made the discovery but arrangements were made that I was to travel with her for when the school begun.
On the fateful day, as early as 5:30 in the morning we left for the train station. I think everyone in my family except my grandmother packed up in a car and went to the train station. We met up with my cousin and the train left at 7:30. I don't remember how I felt, but was so sad to leave my grandma behind. My grandma refused to come along because she said she would be crying. I learnt later that she cried every time she heard the train past my village.
The journey was the longest i have ever taken. My cousin introduced me to her friends that got on the train at every stop along the way. My cousin was in her last year at school, she was sitting for her senior cambridge that year.
The train arrived in Kuala Lumpur in the evening and only at night we took another train south. We arrived in Johor bahru very early in the morning, were picked up by school busses. We were sent to dormitories. Early in the morning after breakfast, my cousin took me to register and she had to go to her classes.. I think i was one of the first to get registered. I think after that we were taken to our classes. I saw most of the new students were with their parents, and i was all by my self.
I cannot remember well, how I managed, but I made it through the first day. I was allowed to live in the same dormitory as my cousin.
In the class room, Remove Class A, my form teacher was Miss Chua who did not speak Malay, did her best to settle us down. I made friend with a girl from Kelantan after we met outside the rest room/lavatory. She was wearing a red pleated skirt and a red striped blouse. i don't remember what i wear. Since that meeting, we sat next to each other in the class for 8 years.