Sunday, April 05, 2009

sch starts tml....

...... n i havent done a single thing in preparation for it. in fact, i dun even know wat im supposed 2 prepare..... dun hv the books list or anything yet. n there were sum discrepancies between my syllabus guidebook n the classes schedule published on engineering fac website so i cant even plan my classes n decide wat to take etc. guess im going to sch empty-handed n clueless tml.

well, its been a good spring holidays all in all, compared wif the last few..... last year's summer hols were boring; winter hols were terrible. this time arnd at least i managed 2 go sum places, meet up wif frens (sum of which i havent seen in 2 years or more), n had some fun around osaka... primarily at karaoke... heheh. but still i cant consider these hols completely satisfactory. there were things i planned to do but couldnt make time for, such as: learning korean, learning sum new piano pieces, trying out some cooking/baking experiments, exploring the surrounding areas by bike, going for morning jogs n nightime walks, blogging more, sorting thru n uploading my pics..... the list goes on n on. ive been back frm australia for nearly 2 weeks now, but it still feels like juz yesterday.... simply cuz i didnt do anything noteworthy during these 2 weeks n they juz flew by.

ah yeah, abt the australia trip, hv 2 blog bout it sumtime.... but meanwhile check out d pics on facebook! :P

well, in the last 2 or 3 days temperature's gone up slightly (tho i feel the cold even more for sum reason).... marking the end of winter finally. its not without a twinge of emotion dat i see march roll by. march is always the month of farewells n partings... starting frm the time in gaidai when i parted ways wif my tokyo frens n came 2 osaka.... n every year during march there would b some frens leaving, whether going home to their countries or to continue studies elsewhere in japan. theres even a feeling of regret at winter making its retreat n giving way to spring, cuz it marks the end of the cold days which i love so much.

in japan there r many 'new year's. firstly of course theres the 1st of january new year, which in my opinion is nothing more than a formality brought about by the calendar system. then theres the chinese new year, which always reminds me of home n reunion dinner n new year cookies n fireworks. but cny almost always falls in the middle of exam period, n its not celebrated by most ppl here so i end up hardly noticing it.

some ppl say 'have a good year ahead!' in addition to the standard 'happy birthday' greetings. so i guess each person's birthday marks a personal kind of new year too. but nothing changes during the birthday except that ur formally one year older. in that sense that new year is kind of meaningless too.

so actually the new year thats most 'real' to me is the beginning of the school year in early april. its the time when u feel a difference in the air.... winter going out, spring coming in, annoying sakura blossoming everywhere, u start feeling apprehensive about the study-laden year ahead. its the time for a fresh start, for taking another go at the year; its the best time to be making 'new year resolutions', imho, than either new years day, cny or birthday.

so wat will my resolutions be? ive got some idea but wont be putting them down here yet. guess i'll think them over later b4 sleeping.

anyway, time to end this rambling....

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

spring holidays

WOW! time passes so fast. without realizing it its been almost 2 months since the last post..... in that space of time 2nd year semester-end exams came n went, i went to tokyo for a well-deserved (?) vacation, n then flew to australia for ANOTHER well-deserved vacation wif my family. n now here i am at the end of the holidays, as usual thinking back n asking myself: have i made good use of my holidays? hv i done all the things i wanted to, so that i wud b ready to start the new sch year well rested, with all enthusiasm n no regrets?

unfortunately as always the answer is no.... but thats a matter for another post. here i'll juz attempt to summarize briefly what ive been up to during the hols..... no easy task, considering im having trouble remembering things that happened merely 2 weeks, let alone 2 months ago.

so exams came n went. as stated in my last post, my exam performance was NOT good.... at least in my opinion. so it was a surprise when results came out n i found that i did MUCH better than the last semester. no C's, n more importantly no F's.... wont tell u the rest of my results but number of S's n A's reached an unprececdented high (or conversely, number of B's an unprecedented low... heh). i'll chalk that up to big contributions frm attendance marks n mid-sem tests tho, cuz i certainly did NOT do well during the semester final. n its funny how my exam results r always much better in the second semesters, mebbe its becuz 1st sem exams r around the height of summer when i cant study or even sleep properly.

so right after that..... went to karaoke once or twice.... resumed my daily training routine for a while (had to break that off when i went on vacation tho) n oh yeah, there was another food party, i think on the day right b4 we left for tokyo. i tried making roti canai n sum chickpeas curry. the curry turned out fine n was in fact praised by a few.... but the roti canai became.... pancakes? still it was ok tho, the hungry ppl devoured everything i made, so i consider my cooking a success ^^

anyway sumtime around end of feb i went to tokyo, with han yee tagging along. after meeting up wif gaidai frens in tokyo we left for nikko, which was our travel destination.... an ulu-ulu place about 2.5 hrs train ride frm the city, supposedly famous for unesco world heritage designated temples n shrines, n beautiful waterfalls which unfortunately we did not get to see. we did purchase a combination pass to visit 5 of the shrines, but as usual each seemed no different from the other, tho rushanti seemed to find them quite interesting. it started snowing shortly after we arrived n later that evening we checked the weather n discovered that we had been plodding around in -3 degree cold! dat was my 1st experience actually being outside during a full-scale snowfall.... cant say if it was good or bad, but i wud certainly do it again :P

anyway, we spent 3 days 2 nights in that area all in all. on the 2nd day we went to tobu world which was basically a big compound wif miniatures of famous buildings from all over the world. 3rd day was spent in edomura (edo village), a place where employees dress up as edo-period peasants, samurai, nobles, u get the picture. the ninja show wasnt bad, the rest were quite boring. oh n the ninja house was fun... using a combination of optical illusions n sloping floors, walls n ceilings, it induces major headache n dizziness in anyone daring to step in. anyway check out the pics for more info, running out of time here hehe.

the rest of my time in tokyo was spent rather uneventfully, except during the last day where i went to gaidai in the morning to meet ex-teachers n this year's kohai, then rushed to shinjuku for karaoke wif the gaidai gang, n had a huge sumptious cake buffet at night. this restaurant, called Bitter Sweet, was relly good... delicious pasta (which i regret eating too much of), variety of grilled meats n veggies u can order without limit, crepe n pancake bar where u can specify ur own toppings n fillings, n a coffee machine with all the usual suspects like americano, cappucino, latte etc.

ok hv 2 get ready 2 go out, will b blogging about my australia trip in the next post...

sigh..... watever happened 2 'i will blog regularly'? shud hv blogged a little bit at a time right after each event, when memories r still fresh instead of letting them pile up like this >.<

anyway, pics r upcoming in facebook, as soon as i manage to sort everything out (n get time to upload them) so stay tuned!

p.s. just for the record, we had a relli persistent winter last/this year..... nightime temperatures were still reaching 1 or 0 degrees until a few days ago. if only it would last, sigh...

p.s.s. will hopefully b writing another post soon on some of my thoughts on the closing of the year.... it hasnt been a very good year in sum ways, n i shud look thru it n see wat went wrong. juz a reminder to self.