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.

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