Friday, December 31, 2010

Rewind 2010

A recap of 2010 - the first year of the new decade. 

  • Welcomed the New Year at my new house in Inage, although technically I was still studying in Nagaoka and hadn't moved to the new place.
  • This is the first time I celebrated the New Year in Japan, although I have came here for more than three years. The previous two years were in Taiping and Malacca.
  • It will be our last time to spend the winter in a snowing area, so the
    crazy three - Muazam, Ridzuan and me decided to go out for a snow adventure,  walking under the heavy snow lol!
  • Attended a New Year event - "Cross-Cultural New Year Get-Together" at the Chikyu Hiroba of the Nagaoka International Affairs Center in the Nagaoka Civic Centre.
  • Just like the saying goes - "One second you feel like you're in cloud nine, the happiest person in the world; but the next thing, it feels that the whole world has come crashing down on you." That was what happened to me on the on the first month of the year, that I decided to take a break from blogging for almost a month.
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        • Nobody's better to help myself to get up, if not myself. That was the moment I lifted myself and live like how I used to.
        • February is the "farewell month" because the school calendar in Japan usually ends by this month. Had a farewell party, organised by the Yukitsubaki-kai (雪椿会) for the international students from the fifth grade, who will graduate in the next several weeks.
        • Though this year marks our third-straight year not being able to celebrate the Chinese New Year at home, we continued our tradition of having our own version of the reunion dinner among ourselves at the hostel. By the way, Valentine's Day fall on the same day as the Chinese New Year this year.
        • Our juniors had a farewell party for the seniors at the hostel. This party is also considered a tradition among us Malaysians, to bid farewell for the leaving seniors. One of my favourite farewell party because only Malaysian food are served haha!
        • Another farewell party, this time by the school, held at the school cafeteria for the eight international students who are leaving.
        • Attended the "7th International Cultural Exchange Get-Together", organised by Nagaoka City International Cultural Exchange Organisation at New Otani Hotel, Nagaoka.
        • My third time to the Yukishika Festival, an annual snow festival in Nagaoka.
        • Visited a local school -  Aobadai Junior High School (青葉台中学校) as part of the "Sekai-ga Sensei" programme to introduce Malaysia to the kids. It was so fun to have the kids asking me silly but funny questions.
        • As one of the requirements to graduate, I had my graduation research presentation with my research partner. Glad that the presentation went smoothly.
        • Went to the hot-air balloon festival at Ojiya, a small town near Nagaoka.
        • Joined several foreigners for a Winter Nagaoka Tour around the city. It was organised by Nagaoka City International Cultural Exchange Organisation.
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              • From an interpreter, I turned a tour guide to the same people. Took them to tour around Tokyo and the period just fell on the right time - the peak period of sakura season.
              • Joined the rest of the Malaysian for hanami at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, organised by MSAJ.
              • Celebrated my 23rd birthday, which was loaded with cookies and snacks haha! 
              • Paid a visit to Sakura town for the annual tulip festival. The place was quite beautiful and has a Dutch windmill as well.
              • Started my new life at Chiba University, as a third year undergraduate in the Mechanical Engineering faculty, which began with the entrance ceremony.
              • Participated in the blood donation campaign at my school; my second time in Japan.
              • Was selected as one of the twenty Malaysian students to attend the welcoming ceremony at  Sori Kantei (総理官邸), the principal workplace of the Prime Minister of Japan, in-conjunction with the official visit of Malaysia's Prime Minister to Japan.
              • Attended a dinner with the Prime Minister at New Otani Hotel, Tokyo. Upon arriving at the reception counter, I was told to seat in the same table with other distinguished guests, including Datuk Rais Yatim.
              • Attended the international students' welcoming ceremony of Chiba University.
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                • Went over to Bao Cong and Wee Kien's place for their house warming party. Everyone went crazy when we played Jenga later that evening haha! 
                • I gave a skip to the annual Golden Week gathering in 2009, but this time I made sure I didn't miss out on this event; one of the biggest event every year.
                • Andrew, my senior invited to to join him for a BBQ session with the rest of the seniors at Tamagawa. It was great to meet up with several seniors who are many years my senior.
                • Had a trip to see the shibazakura and cherry plucking at Yamanashi prefecture with Kai Cung and Shei Pien during the Golden Week holiday.
                • Underwent my intraLASIK surgery and from the result I got after that, I guess the money was really worth spending.
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                  • Meet up with a Japanese actress, who happened to be Andrew's friend at his farewell party in James's place.
                  • Was mostly busy with the mid-term exams, hence activities were quite minimal on this month.
                  • Attended the ASEAN Festival in Tokyo. Managed to try some local food from other South East Asian countries, which was really good.
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                  • Visited the forth country in my life - China. Kai Cung and I went to Shanghai to attend the World Expo 2010. The Malaysia Pavillion was nothing extraordinary, instead I personally feel that it was quite a let-down, compared to other countries.
                  • The Shanghai trip was not bad, in fact we had great fun going around several places besides the World Expo.
                  • Donated blood for the second time of the year.
                  • Attended the famous Inage Sengen Shrine Festival, which is held nearby my place.
                  • Went to Tokyo Disneysea, which is just next to Tokyo Disneyland. Though we only went on a half-day pass, we managed to ride on most of the rides in the park.
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                        • Attended a Hari Raya open house by Puan Siti Zaharah at the staff apartment in Kami-meguro in Tokyo.
                        • Just slightly more than a month since I experienced an earthquake, I felt another mild on again; this time in Chiba.
                        • Gathered at Tokyo to have a futsal game among us. That is how "pathetic" we were, who desperate for some footie session haha!
                        • Attended the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Youth Program as one of the delegates who represent Malaysia in Tokyo. It was indeed an informative and interesting program, which I was fortunate to participate.
                        • Watched "Ice Kacang Puppy Love" at the NHK Asian Film Festival in Tokyo.
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                              • Attended the annual Chiba University Festival, which was held for several days.
                              • Was invited by my senior, Crystal to join Andrew and Amy to her son's 10th surprise birthday party at her place in Toyocho.
                              • Participated in the blood donation campaign at my school; my third time this year, which makes it four times in total for me to donate blood in Japan.
                              • There was another festival held nearby my place - Inage Lights Festival - Yotoboshi.
                              • Met up with Pete Teo, who was in Tokyo to have a live gig with Miyake Yohei at Tokyo Time Out in Ebisu. Managed to have his first album autographed as well.
                              • Went to Hondoji Temple in Matsudo to see the autumn foliage, including the night light-up that was really beautiful.
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                                  • Visited Showa Kinen Park for the annual Momiji Festival. The Japanese garden inside the park was amazingly beautiful with red autumn foliage. One of the most breathtaking garden I have seen in Japan.
                                  • Chiba University had their biannual Universal Festival. This time it was the Vietnamese and Nepalese who introduced their country to us and we got to taste their local food as well at the end of the event.
                                  • My senior, Crystal invited the few of us again to her place; this time to celebrate Windell's birthday. We had great food and fun talking about all kinds of topic throughout the day.
                                  • Had a presentation for the "Engineering Design" class for our group and later that night, the fourteen of the transfer students from my course went out to have a year-end party together at a Chinese restaurant.
                                  • Returned to home sweet home after more than one-and-a-half year being away from Malaysia for my short winter break. Spent one good week at Taiping, visited my aunt at Penang with Michelle, and attended the Bodhi Puja on New Year's Eve. One thing for sure, surrounded by good Malaysian food all the time!
                                    I'm not a fan of making resolutions come the new year every time;
                                    Anyway, though this might sound cliché, always remember to:

                                    "Appreciate the people and things you have while you can before you lose them;"
                                    "Live your life to the fullest like no tomorrow;"
                                    "And love yourself first, before loving others." 

                                    "Happy New Year 2011"


                                    DT said...


                                    Roshmi Sinha said...

                                    Phew! How did you manage to pack so much within just 1 year?? I got tired... simply by reading this ;)

                                    Have a fun year ahead! And... may you always be surrounded by lots of delectable Malaysian cuisines :)

                                    calvin said...

                                    @ dt:
                                    thank you.
                                    happy new year to you too!

                                    calvin said...

                                    @ roshima sinha:
                                    things and events just happen to come and go through the one-year period. and reflecting them again at the end of the year sometimes is quite nice :D

                                    thanks and you have a great year ahead too!