Of flights and fun facts
If you’re in your first year, chances are you’re going to have to go around the room and introduce yourself.
And if your tutor is feeling extra fun, they’ll get you to also come up with a fun fact to share with the class. Thank goodness I’ve escaped this phase of awkward class introductions now that I’m in my third year, but I won’t lie how fun and exhilarating it was trying to think of a fact that was interesting that didn’t involve me mentioning I'm an international student.
I always ended up with “I’m from Malaysia” or "I’m bilingual", though. I know, not very creative but it was a conversation starter at least. I’ve been thinking lately what I would say as my fun fact if I were to encounter that question again. I’m going to write them down here so that I can refer back to it when the opportunity presents itself.
If I’m in a room full of athletic and outdoorsy people, I think I’d tell them that I’ve climbed up the highest peak in Borneo and Malaysia - Mount Kinabalu. I know, it’s not exactly Everest Base Camp or K2 but for a 16-year-old who puked nearly every time she climbed up a hill, this was pretty impressive. I’d have to remember to let them know that the young hiker within me has been lost for several years, so don’t drag me on a vigorous hiking trip.
Another one I’ve just remembered was that I taught a literal bird how to fly. Me, a human who’s clearly not designed with aerodynamic features, taught a young crow how to fly! This was back when I was in Malaysia, and we found a little birdie in our backyard. It must’ve fallen from its nest while attempting to fly but no mama bird came to claim it and no nest was seen nearby, so being the Irwins of our neighbourhood, we took it under our wings (please laugh). When it got a little bit bigger, my dad came up with the idea to put it on a rake and gently toss it in the air at a minimal height so that it’ll get used to flapping its wings. We did that a couple of times a day slowly and carefully, and to our surprise the young crow caught on with the idea of flying but of course, since it was taught by humans, it wasn’t going to be 100% right.
The crow only knew how to fly upwards but not to land on the ground so it would get stuck on our roof all the time and my dad would have to climb up and get it. Eventually as it got older, the crow understood the whole mechanics of flying and left our human nest.
I was really sad, but I knew better than to keep it forever. We had done our part and the time came for my feathery friend to fly away. After it had left, some crows would be spotted by our garden fence, and I liked to believe that one of them was the crow we had taught to fly.
What’s your fun fact?