It’s been just over two weeks since I got back into Sydney and I’m still riding escalators on the wrong side and running into people. I find it incredible just how much six weeks can change the muscle memory developed over 21 years.

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Last lunch with the full cohort of media interns. Photo by Jinny Lee

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When preparing for my trip, I scoured the Parallax blog posts. I read every single post, particularly focusing on the blogs written by former Australia–Malaysia interns. So, I hope this is of some use to future interns.

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My final week at The Star was fairly slow as Amanda and I finished up some stories we were working on. We completed the second half of our investigation into the bus system in Petaling Jaya (which has since made the front page of StarMetro!) as well as a couple of stories that explore Australia–Malaysia education and cultural relations — or “people-to-people links” as DFAT likes to call it.

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After a month and a half in Thailand it has all come to an end. While there were times when the intensity of Bangkok triumphed over me, I left with a world of knowledge about Thailand that I could never have received otherwise.

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Queen Sirikit Park. One of the most beautiful places in Bangkok. Photo by Michael Dwyer

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As soon as I left Sydney airport, I went to the beach. It was good to breathe clean air again.

Despite its chaos and pollution, there are definitely things I miss about Bangkok.

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China Man’s Beach in Sydney. Photo by Ada Lee

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Being back in Sydney really puts the differences between Malaysia and Australia into stark contrast. There are the obvious things — like the weather and the style of driving. But there are other things, things you wouldn't think would be so different. After all, both countries are democracies, both have a royal family. We both have newspapers and news reporting and multicultural populations. However, there are huge differences in the media climate and culture of two countries that seem so similar.

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There is nothing better to get you excited for returning home than hopping into a cab where the driver is watching a movie on his phone — as he is driving. Our last ride home from the office was full of surprises as the driver swerved across lanes in his attempts not to miss a minute of his favourite film. We put a stop to this quick smart and I arrived safely back at the apartment to enjoy my final night in KL.

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Mr Tan, owner of the Eastin Hotel, praying at the alter behind his hotel.

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About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.
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