Thursday, May 31, 2007

my 7 seconds of fame

At the end of the winter term, an email went out to the students asking if we would like to appear in a spot TV show called "O-i, Nippon! (Hello Japan!)". They required us to say something about Niigata and what we liked about the prefecture.

I signed up for it, and wondered what it would be like to appear on TV. The NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)staff came over one sunny afternoon in the beginning of spring and we went to the soccer field beside the dorms to do the recording. Weather was fine, but we were all nervously memorising our lines and trying to look good for the TV.

About a month ago, our PR Officer informed us about the schedule of the TV spots. There were about 9 of us, and we had 2 slots each on the prefectural station and national station. I was so excited about it and wanted to have a recording of it. But NHK mentioned that they would not be providing us a copy of it. What the...? But this is probably my only chance at fame

We weren't familiar with the TV here, and there was no proper recording equipment around to do it as well. One friend even suggested using a digicam to record ourselves while we watch TV! So in the end, we pestered begged the PR Officer to help us get a copy. She came back and informed us that the NHK director has kindly offered to send us a DVD that he personally recorded.

This is the page where they put up everyone's faces, try to spot the rest of the IUJ'ers.

I actually wrote a paragraph of things to say, but had to cut it down to 1 line since we only had about 7 seconds each. But if I'm not mistaken, this was probably what I said : 季節によって違いますが、色々な顔を持っている新潟が大好きです!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

tagged again?

Don't know why but I suddenly remembered that I owe Loky a post since he has tagged me.

I've probably done some other tags before, but I suppose doing this will either give people an excuse to say I'm weird or have them tell me I'm the most unique person they've ever met. Heh. But then again, we're all unique and have our own quirks.

The rule of the tag is as such :
"People who are tagged should write a blog post of 6 weird things about them as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

I sometimes think I'm not good at following rules, so instead of the word "weird", I'm going to use "quirk". :D Quirks have no order, they will be written as they pop up in my head.

Quirk #1

I love my presents so much that I sometimes re-wrap them and open them again, just to extend the delight. And if I really really like the packaging, especially the handmade ones, I keep them. Well, I guess one of my top love languages is gift (giving/receiving?). It's not like I have only one or two gifts that I do this to make myself feel like I have more gifts. This is a "ritual" I find myself doing for Christmas and my birthday every year, since university days.

Quirk #2
Sometimes to pass time, I count. Like if I'm waiting at the reception, I start counting the number of tiles on the floor, the big ones that is. Or when I wash my face, I count the number of times I splash water to left side of the face. The same goes for the middle and the right side. It's not like there's a cleansing ritual I go through, but the counting just comes. Or when I'm boiling water and want to decide when it's hot enough, I count, say up to 20, before I switch the stove off.

Quirk #3
I sneeze 8 times. Don't ask me why, but yes, this is another thing I count too. So happened there was a period I had bad sinus and I realised everytime I sneeze, I sneeze many times continuously. Since my birthday is on the 8th and I kinda like 8 as a number, I decided to check if I sneeze 8 times. And although I don't think I consciously stop or continue until the 8th a-choo, I find that when I'm done with 8 successive sneezes, I'm ok again.

Quirk #4
I have this thing jutting out at my feet. On the part of the foot facing inwards, where its relatively straight for others, mine points out and goes back in. I'm not sure what part of the foot that is, but I think it's the sesemoid bone. Apparently I inherited it from my granpa Wong. That's why I can't wear a lot of shoes properly, especially those closed ones. Court shoes, mary-janes and all those kill my feet!

Quirk #5

Quirk #6

I decided I ain't that weird after all, heh. Nah, I realised I was taking such a long time doing this that I decided to stop at #4. Besides I started this post 2 weeks ago! So many things have since happened and I decided to focus on other things as well.

Which reminds me, I have to start pushing myself to actively look for a job and to get a proper subject as a thesis. Will continute to update from time to time. In the meantime, you can have a look at my online album for some latest pics :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

hopping into hongkong 3 + hanami

I have been alerted by a loyal fan comment that I have not been updating my blog as often as I should. Feeling very guilty that I have let my fans readers down, I shall try to fill up this post with as many photos as possible. Warning : reading this post will clog up your bandwidth!

Macau trip
The last leg of my HK hop ended with a stop at Macau, just about an hour of a ferry ride away. Macau has a sort of old world charm to it. We were only there for a day trip so we didn't get to see as many places as we initially planned.

I've always associated Macau with casinos and Portugese egg tarts. But instead of gambling away and stuffing myself with food like in previous days, we ended up going around appreciating the many ruins found around Senado Square.

The distinctive wavy pattern at the square is known as the Portuguese pavement. Many colonial style buildings surround this square, and it reminded me of Malacca, which was also colonised by the Portugese. From here, there are signposts guiding you to the various churches and refurbished buildings which make up one of the most fav tourist spots.

Hanami on campus
The day after Macau, I flew back home for about a week. Many people thought I was nuts to just do such a short trip but I haven't been home for a year already. Plus, I wouldn't know what would happen after graduation. Being back was good. Though it was superhot + humid compared to here, but being surrounded by all things familiar was comforting enough. Needless to say, I didn't want to leave.

The week I was at home, I heard that the hanami had started in the southern part of Japan. The bloom of the cherry blossom is a big thing in Japan, often signifying the beginning of spring. Even though it can withstand strong winds, the flowers grow into full bloom for only a week before wilting away.

The blossoms begin from the south, slowly moving towards the north, and likewise from the cities to the more rural areas. Since Niigata prefecture is slightly to the north of Tokyo, that meant I would still be able to come back to enjoy the flowers. True enough, 1 week after I arrived here, the row of trees near the tennis courts started flowering.

Many Japanese take the opportunity to have picnics under the sakura tree. At parks around the country, you will see groups of people sitting on mats having a merry time with their beer or sake. Some even bring their own tents and portable tables.

For me, it's a reminder of how fleeting and fragile our life can be. Here today, gone tomorrow. But we learn to appreciate what we have while we have them. That was how I felt as graduation day draws near. The fact that I will not be seeing many of my friends makes me wish I was here longer.

Most of my friends are in programmes which are 2 years in duration, while the Ebiz will be graduating this year. Have lots of things to consider and think about; graduation, job hunting, thesis writing, going back or settling down in a foreign country. So many concerns, but the only thing I can do is to submit all these to Papa in heaven, trusting that He will see me through my next phase in life.