Almost Robbed

And to think, the only time I remember being robbed outright was back in 2006 when I was still studying in Ateneo and while I was with my blockmates, my laptop was stolen. Considering that I’ve lived in China for over a year and a half, this is the first time that someone has attempted to rob me. There is a small lingering doubt about the incident in my head, almost like I can’t believe that it happened so it must have been false, but instinct tells me otherwise.

Last Saturday evening, after  dinner at a sushi restaurant and some bazaar shopping with my friend, we decided to head home to call it a night. As we were making our way to the bus stop (中山路站 – Zhong Shan Lu stop), me and my friend were in a deep conversation about a lot of things. In my left hand, I held a shopping bag. My right hand was somewhere near my hand bag. As we were already by the bus stop, I readied myself for any incoming buses headed towards the school by turning to my bag to take out my bus card. With the bag I was wearing at the time, I usually keep the bus card by the front pocket for easy access, but since my friend noted earlier that evening that the button seemed to be coming off. Instead of just feeling for the card like I usually do, I decided to look at my bag while I was taking it out. It was at that moment that I noticed that my bag’s zipper was already 1/3 of the way open. What’s more, I noticed a hand pull away  and a man who was close behind me ducking behind the advertisement board.

I immediately told my friend that I thought I had almost been robbed.

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It’s like I’m back from the dead

As the title of my blog entry says, it feels like I’m back from the dead. One, because I have left this blog empty for the past couple of months, which is a bit unlike me since I used to write every day (on LJ). And two, because for the latter half of July and earlier half of August, I felt seemingly dead as I was alone here in Xiamen and had a very screwed up schedule for the majority of those days.

Because I was in the middle of looking for work here in  Xiamen, and was putting off deciding whether or not I needed one more semester of Mandarin since I wanted to stay longer with my family and because I was planning on taking the HSK5 exam, I ended up not leaving for the Philippines, unlike most of my friends who had left within one week of the final exams. Everyone either went home for the vacation or they went home for good. So, I was basically bored and had a screwed up schedule, with my days spent mostly at home watching anime and Star Trek Voyager, while seemingly faking a productive day by cleaning parts of my room or going to the grocery.

Now, I feel like I’ve come back. Since the middle of August, one of my friends has returned to Xiamen. In more recent days, lots of my foreigner friends have come back from their vacations, and so the neighborhood has been a bit more bustling. To add to that, I’ve been doing some part-time work teaching English and communicating with some Chinese high school students, so that has to some extent regulated my sleeping schedule and wake-up time.

Hopefully, over the next few weeks, I can update my blog with entries about current or past events.

Thanks for still being here, whomever you are~ 🙂 Also, I know have an instagram account, you can follow me through the username dolldalera as that’s easier to access and update through the Great Firewall.

 

Xiamen: Preparing for the medical exam

If you’re a foreigner looking to take the medical exam (because you want to get a residence permit for a multiple entry student [X] or working visa [Z]), living in China for an extended period of time requires you to take the medical examination. When I lived in Beijing for a year, I didn’t need to take the medical examination since my first stay was originally for only 6 months and when I extended my stay, they only extended my visa and I didn’t apply for a multiply entry visa. This is actually the first time that I took the exam, which initially was something I wanted to avoid at all costs, until something came up that well….required me to face this.

Because my visa(allotted to me by the Chinese embassy in Manila) expires about a few days (they only gave me 150days) before my final examination is to take place, and because I need to go home next month and need to have extra entries back into China in case an emergency happens, I decided to go for the medical exam.

A couple of months back, when I was still in Beijing, I wanted to take the exam but heard lots of horror stories from friends, especially about the blood-drawing part of the exam. I’m not a big fan of needles but I’ve been better at the thought of blood drawing since I’ve routinely been having blood tests every 6months back in Manila, for regular check-ups and the like. My friend was suppose to come with me, but last minute she wasn’t feeling well so I ended up going to the place on my own.

Here’s where it starts:

Things you’ll need to have with you:

> 3 copies of your China-passport-sized picture

> passport

> (as of this entry) 503rmb [a few weeks back it was only something like 450rmb and it’s gone up by 50rmb, so check with your school or workplace for cost updates]

> no breakfast-stomach (this is pretty standard, speaks for itself; have an empty stomach for at least 12hrs before you come in)

Xiamen International Travel Healthcare Center [厦门国际旅行卫生保健中心 (Xiàmén guójì lǚxíng wèishēng bǎojiàn zhōngxīn)]

Add: 116号 Dongdu Road  Huli, Xiamen, Fujian, China, 361012

Open: Mondays-Fridays; 8-12nn, 2-5pm

By bus: Take a bus to the 商检 (Shāngjiǎn) Station. The building will be behind the Xiamen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (厦门出入境检验检疫局)

Buses that pass by this station: 4路空调, 11路, 22路, 22路空调, 26路空调, 43路, 67路快线, 84路, 102路空调, 107路, 139路, 520路, 520路空调, 522路, 522路空调, 533路, 655路, 841路, 842路, 853路, 856路, 858路, 954路, 958路, 旅游1线

Procedure upon arrival:

When I arrived, I asked a form from the desk and proceeded to fill out the form. After you’ve filled out the form, you have to line up at one of the aisles that say “Accept”. Prepare your passport and the form, and when everything is okay, the person at the counter will ask for your passport and the payment (503rmb). This part will take a while because they have to check out your information on the computer and then they’ll print something and ask you to check if your name is correctly spelled out. Check your name’s spelling carefully! They will give you a receipt and a bunch of small papers, so keep everything with you. After, they will tell you to go inside and go through the 1st-3rd floors for your check-ups. Take the door to the left of the counter.

Medical Exams:

Based on personal experience, these are the exams that you will have to go through. I talked to my friends about the exam and it seems I might have missed an exam or two, but I’m not sure since the guy at the counter said everything was a’okay. It could just be that my friend had a different count the last time she was there, and I myself had a different count. Based on my trip, these are the exams you have to go through~

> X-ray, ECG, Eye test, Ultrasound, Blood test, Urine Test, Blood Pressure + Weight and Height (same room)

When I get my results later, I’ll check out what else I’m missing, hopefully I did everything okay and this is all that’s needed as I don’t want to repeat the entire thing another time.

Tips for the Exam:

> Wear a sort of loose t-shirt as you’ll be required to pull it up during some exams.

> Also bring a book with you or some other form of light entertainment (ipod, ipad, psp, etc) as I heard that sometimes there are long lines for the exam (though that wasn’t the case with when I went).

> If you aren’t sure with the exams and which ones you are suppose to take, just go through the rooms with open doors and ask if you need the exam, most likely (if not most certainly), you do.

> With the blood exam, if you are afraid like me, tell the A-yi ahead of time that you are a bit afraid. She consoled me and told me not to be afraid and that it won’t hurt. I looked away when she was putting the needle through my skin, but it’s actually not as bad as I imagined it to be, just a small prick really….kind of like how it feels back home.

Overall, if there are no lines, the whole procedure should take about 30mins-1hour. As you are required to do the tests without breakfast, the best time to do the exam is in the morning.

Hope this helps!

First Lent in Xiamen

Lent is never really that hard in the Philippines (in general), because we’re a predominantly Catholic/Christian country. It’s only now that I’m on my 2nd or 3rd time away from the Philippines during this season that I can see how we sometimes take the season for granted. Having daily masses, and even having at least 3-5 masses a day on Sundays, these are things you cannot find in China. When I was in Beijing last year, Lent was difficult for me because the Church was far away, even by subway. The only days I was able to attend mass for that season were Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Now that it’s just a little more convenient (as compared to Beijing) that I am able to attend mass here in Xiamen, I try to attend mass each Sunday.

Coincidentally, the Sunday that passed by was Palm Sunday, which coincided with the weekend before 清明节 (Qing Ming Jie/Tomb-sweeping Holiday) which is when Chinese go back to their hometowns to visit graves and the like (something like All Souls Day I guess). Unlike my time in Tsinghua where the school celebrates the holiday like any normal holiday, my classes here at XMU try to  make the most out of the holidays by giving classes beforehand, so I had classes during the weekend which resuletd in a 7-day straight schedule.

Right after my 8-930am class at XMU, I made my way to the nearest school gate and took a taxi straight to the ferry port (I usually take a bus, but it takes about 15-20minutes to get to the ferry port from my flat). Then I used my Gulangyu unlicard for the first time and took the ferry to Gulangyu before making my way to Church. I was already 20minutes late for mass, but it was still worth the effort. Our Church had baskets of palaspas (palms?) which they were handing out for free to the churchgoers (since we’re a pretty small community, with loads of Pinoys, fyi). I was able to take 3, 1 of which I handed to my friend. I even placed it on my door when I got home. It’s not as nice-looking as the palaspas we use back home, and this thing is painful (it has sharp leaves! i got pricked at least 5 times), but am trying to work with it nonetheless. Back home, my parents place our palaspas above our picture of the sacred heart of Jesus, so when I was talking to my mom, I asked hem to send me a picture/poster that I could hang on my door as well.

It really makes you appreciate the little things, doesn’t it?

I’m kind of looking forward to attending mass this Friday and Saturday, though the schedule at the Church mentioned that both masses will be completely in Mandarin. Scary and challenging! We’ll see if my schedule permits. The next few days are scary hectic, not to mention the HSK4 exam on the 14th~

Sticky Note girl

Today, the world celebrates women everywhere. Happy International Women’s Day. Here in China, it’s called 三八妇女节 (Sānbā fùnǚ jié). In my 23 years of existence as a woman, I had yet to experience the joy of being a woman through a day dedicated to well..women. Sure, mothers have the “Happy Mother’s Day” celebration, but seeing as I’m not yet a mother, I have yet to enjoy that.

I was reminded by a friend of mine yesterday how today is Women’s Day. Apparently here in Xiamen University, students enjoy the day by hosting an activity where women can place requests on post-its, asking for anything they’d like (whether it’s material goods like toys, flowers, food; something more meaningful like a tour guide or a date, or even a language partner or a boyfriend). So women sign up on this sheet with their name and cellphone number, and are handed a corresponding code. With each post-it, one can write down any request they’d like, including their code (like let’s say A0001), and they can put it on the activity board of the said event area. Guys and girls alike can look at the post-its and if they feel like they can fulfill the request, they take down the post-it and hand it to the activity members, who will then write down the number of the girl requesting the said task, and then it’s up to the two to discuss how to go about the request.

Actually the said activity started a couple of days ago, and my friend did mention it last week (I just didn’t understand the concept) and supposedly was going to end yesterday but I’m happy that they decided to continue it till today since I wanted a chance to post something on the board. Some random things I asked for was a Wang Lee Hom poster (王力宏的招贴) , a pet fish or plant(一个小鱼或者植物), chocolate cake(巧克力蛋糕), a Panda stuffed toy(我可以包着的熊猫), and either a Panda or Frog bag(一个熊猫或者青蛙书包). Hopefully I’ll get a text tonight or maybe tomorrow, I really want some of the things that I asked for. After all, how often can I participate in an activity like this. Makes me wish Ateneo had something like this back home, this is such a cute event. 🙂

Also, there are lots of promos and celebrations for today. I even got a text from our family friend about celebrating today. I also called my aunt to greet her a happy  三八妇女节 🙂

Things like this make me so thankful that I was born a girl, though there are times when I think differently.

Again, happy international women’s day!

The 4am project

I’ve always found myself to be a person with weird sleeping habits. I find myself the most productive nearing midnight to around dawn. Whether it’s cleaning, or writing blog entries, playing console games, or finishing some other task, I find myself the most awake when the people on my side of the world should be asleep.

Today is not another exception. I found myself sleeping early at around 730pm. What was suppose to be a short nap, ended in 4 hours of sleep, and I found myself buying some fast food at KFC a little past midnight. Of course, with all that food (and some TV series episodes waiting for me), I ended up not sleeping after that dinner. With so much energy attained from 4 hours of sleep, I was able to clean out parts of my fridge which I had been meaning to get to, like the ice cube trays, the vegetable drawer, and some other things. I have yet to find baking soda to remove that god-awful smell from my fridge, but I’m slowly getting there.

Close-up of the holes

Zoomed-out view

Also, there’s been something in my “flat” that I’ve been meaning to get to. One part of the wall in my flat has some distinct tape markings, with lots of holes in it. My only guess is that some time before, someone decided to hang a dart paper or something, and used the darts found in the shoe rack by my main door for some leisurely fun. Now, the holes are permanently on the wall, and since the wall isn’t that clean either, the first thought I had in mind would be to hang instax pictures like some that I’ve seen (online) people do. I’m not artsy enough to find pictures that form another picture, and I’m just not patient enough to figure out how to do something like that. And since I haven’t found a poster big enough to fill the wall (I was aiming on using this map from my university that was given to me, but it’s too small) I decided to make the most of my 4am energy to get to posting photos. Of course, what I’ve set up isn’t enough, and neither is it done.

I’ve got about 36 photos up on the wall, including the Xiamen map. It looks much better, if I do say so myself, though hanging a poster would possibly have been more soothing to my obsessive-compulsive mind. Either way, the flat is looking more like home every day. I’d love to buy things to make this place look more like home, but since I need to be practical and I don’t want to end up spending too much, photos seem like the most feasible thing to put up. It’s not exactly free since the instax films cost money, but at least it’s a good way to display the photos I’ve already taken and plan to take from now on.

And again, good morning Xiamen. On a Sunday morning, the world around me is still asleep….more or less.

By the way, day by day, I’m feeling more and more domesticated. Haha. A lot more than when I was in Beijing, to some extent. I guess that’s what happens when you live alone.

My next big adventure – Xiamen

Grey autumn jacket from ONLY Beijing;Three-ringed ring from the best friend; Red empire-cut top from aunt’s christmas gift; black knee-high leather boots from Beijing

Recently, I’ve been so busy and so bewildered. I’m in Xiamen right now, and as this is my first Xiamen entry (for my studies here), I’d like to try to introduce where I am right now.

I arrived alone from Manila, my first international trip by myself. Xiamen is a much quieter city than Beijing which always seems to be bustling with life. Unlike my old neighbourhood, there are less restaurants about, there are less foreigners, and there are no bars in the area where I’m living (which is good as it reduces noise pollution, but a bit disappointing as there isn’t much to do in the evenings). I live pretty near my school, I can even see one of the gates of my university from my window. In fact, I live next to this small park which has a small lake behind it, and yes, I can also see the lake from here though it’s not very clear as trees are blocking the way. Another thing I see from my window is KFC, and I know that right behind that is Mcdonalds, so I guess that’s sort of good news for me (convenience-wise, not health-wise, haha).

The school is smaller than my school back in Beijing though just as beautiful. Xiamen University has wonderful architecture, there’s this really nice European-Chinese styled building with stone-like walls that I pass on my way to class. A few of the buildings here have European influences, like this dorm building I passed by a few days ago. There’s a beautiful lake that I fell in love with back in 2004. The jogging track is near my area, so at least I’ll be encouraged to go running, though I’ll wait for the weather to get a little warmer.  And unlike Beijing where everything is flat, getting to my classes here will be a challenge, as it requires going up a mountain. As I mentioned, Beijing is flat, Xiamen is hilly and mountainous. So getting to the classrooms requires walking up and down stairs every day (apart from walking to and from my flat), and getting to the office for foreign students is even harder as it’s located on a much higher hill/mountain.

Since there aren’t any subways close to where I live, and this area is pretty much a university area plus a temple area, going places requires bus and taxi rides. This kind of thing makes me miss taking the subways in Beijing, but I guess things like that are environment dependent, so buses and cars are more practical here than subways. I love the tunnels that go though mountains though, which Beijing probably has but which isn’t as noticeable. And the air here is cleaner, and the sea is about 10minutes away by foot (an estimate as I’ve not really walked from here to the seaside).

I haven’t taken the time to go around, though my family here has been kind enough to take me around when they bring me out to eat. Maybe when I’m not so busy, I’ll stroll around on my own one day. But for now, I’m getting used to living alone and deciding so many things on my own(I miss my roommates),  I miss talking to someone while I do chores or am on the internet (which is why I’m tempted to get a pet fish or turtle or something), and making my flat as charming as possible without splurging excessively.

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Ateneo Celadon: Chinese Spring Film Festival 2012

Every year since 2007, the Ateneo Celadon along with the Confucius Institute have encouraged Filipinos and Chinese-Filipinos alike to appreciate the wonderful Spring Film Festival brought about by the Chinese New Year celebration. Having been there when the first Spring Film festival was celebrated, I was a sophomore active in the Ateneo Celadon back then, this 6th year celebration which welcomes my animal – the Dragon, now presents 6 movies in celebration of the Chinese New Year. And it’s now all free admission!

As stated on the Ateneo Celadon website, where I will be taking information to repost on this blog,

Unlike previous years when a minimal admission fee was charged, this year’s festival will experiment with free admission.  Schools are welcome to bring their students for block screenings on a first-come, first-serve basis.

These are the movies that will be presented for this year’s Spring Film Festival..

Ocean Heaven 

Ocean Heaven is a family drama which features a father- Sam Wang (played by Jet Li), who is solely taking care of his autistic child- Dafu. Wang finds out that he has liver cancer and has a few days to live. Not only does Wang have to cope with his own suffering and impending death, he also has to deal with the heartache of leaving Dafu with no immediate family. This heartwarming film shows the challenges of being a single parent and how parents, even on their last days, would do anything just to ensure the safety and happiness of their children.

Fans of Jet Li will definitely be surprised to see him in this movie because this is the first to cast Li in a non-kung-fu film where he won the 2010 Wen Zhang Best Actor Award. The movie was also recognized by the Shanghai Media Awards, CCTV Movie Channel Media Awards 2010 and Golden Goblet Award. In July 2011, Li even named one of his charity projects as Ocean Heaven Project to help children with autism, cerebral palsy and other disorders.

Lost on Journey

Lost on Journey is a comedy film narrating Li Chenggong’s travel as he endures bad luck after bad luck just to celebrate New Year’s Eve with his family.  Li hops from a plane, to a train,to a bus, and to a boat in the desire to be with his family during the most important event of the year. And along the way, he meets a stranger Niu Geng who later helps him discover something important about himself and the goodness of other people. This movie is a funny presentation of how bad luck brought two different worlds together.

Country Wedding

Country Wedding tells a story of a couple who is about to get married with their families getting so excited to the point that their parents started to meddle with the wedding plans. The bride’s mother, insists on holding the wedding at a ritzy hotel in Beijing whereas, the groom’s father, being the director of a cooperative in a rural village, feels indebted to the community, wants to share the wedding to the whole village. The couple are getting in between as conflicts arise between the in-laws. This film is a funny portrayal of the clash of cultures between the city and country side.

Confucius

Confucius, known as the “Great Sage”, lived during the time when China’s dynasties were in chaos and engulfed by corruption and greed. He strongly believed that ethics and education will put all things to order. His wisdom was sought by different dynasty leaders but only to be abandoned after he dutifully served his purpose. The world knows so much of his teachings, but little is known of his hardships. This biographical drama shows the sufferings and pain Confucius endured and the principles he fervently kept that became the foundation of China’s ethics, morality and law. Starring Chow Yun-Fat as Confucius, Nominated for Best Actor at the 30th Hong Kong Film Awards. Other nominations include Best Cinematography,Art Design,Costume Design and Original Song.

Bodyguards and Assasins

In 1905, Hong Kong was under the British rule and revolution was on the rise. Sun Yat-Sen was set to land in Hong Kong to meet and to unify faction leaders to finally take down the corrupt and crumbling Qing Dynasty. Because of this, Dowager Cixi wanted Sun Yat-Sen assassinated. For the Chinese people who had been clamouring for freedom, they understood that keeping Sun Yat-Sen alive would mean keeping China’s hope to be liberated. Li Yutang, a businessman, gathered a tofu vendor, rickshaw pullers, a beggar and an orphan to serve as bodyguards. These bodyguards displayed their superb fighting skills as they battle it out with the assassins to protect Sun Yat-Sen,whom they haven’t even met.  This action-historical movie garnered numerous awards from the 4th Asian Film Awards,29th Hong Kong Film Awards,16th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards and 47th Golden Horse Awards.

The King of Milu Deer

This 3D animated movie focuses on environment protection. It is a story of a white deer, Yoyo, who turned into a lady and made friends with Tzan-the prince of Kingdom of Clouds and Dreams. Tzan was ordered by the minister to search the Labyrinth Mountain to hunt for the Milu Deer to use it as a sacrifice to bring rains in the kingdom. But Tzan discovered the beauty of the Labyrinth Mountain and got closer to Yoyo. Together, they fought sea lizard monsters, fire,soldiers, and the evil Minister to save the wildlife and natural resources of the Labyrinth Mountain. This movie became the highest grossing Chinese Animated film of all time and received the Best Animated Film of the 13th Huabiao Awards.

Movie Schedule:

January 20, 2012 (Friday)
Country Wedding – 1:00PM
Lost on Journey – 3:00PM

January 21, 2012 (Saturday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 6:00PM
Ocean Heaven – 9:00PM

January 22, 2012 (Sunday)
Ocean Heaven – 1:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 3:30PM
Confucius – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 8:00PM

January 23, 2012 (Monday)
Country Wedding – 1:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 3:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 6:30PM
Lost on Journey – 8:30PM

January 24, 2012 (Tuesday)
Bodyguards & Assassins – 1:30PM
Lost on Journey – 4:30PM
Confucius – 6:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 9:00PM

January 25, 2012 (Wednesday)
The King of Milu Deer – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Country Wedding – 6:00PM
Ocean Heaven – 8:00PM

January 26, 2012 (Thursday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Country Wedding – 3:30PM
The King of Milu Deer – 5:30PM
Confucius – 7:30PM

January 27, 2012 (Friday)
Ocean Heaven – 1:30PM
Confucius – 3:30PM
Lost on Journey – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 8:00PM

January 28, 2012 (Saturday)
The King of Milu Deer – 1:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 3:30PM
Lost on Journey – 5:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 7:30PM

January 29, 2012 (Sunday)
Lost on Journey – 1:30PM
Country Wedding – 3:30PM
Bodyguards & Assassins – 5:30PM
Ocean Heaven – 8:30PM

OTHER ACTIVITIES (2nd Floor, Grand Atrium)

January 20-29
Chinese Painting Exhibit by the Confucius Institute Chinese Painting Students

January 22
Chinese Painting Workshops by Mr. Caesar Cheng and the Confucius Institute Chinese Painting Students

Contact Details:

For more information please call Ateneo Ricardo Leong Center for Chinese Studies at (63 2) 426-6001 local 5208-5209; 5280. For tickets, please call Shang Cineplex at (63 2) 633-2227.

We all leave our nests

Blue top from gift; Keys keys keys necklace from Accessorize;

Blue and brown quilted bowling bag from Mango; Black wedges from H&M

Hype this on Lookbook

So a couple of days ago, I had dinner with 2 of my friends from my Beijing days. One was my roommate during my one year stint there. The other was a friend I met during my second semester, who was on a semester-abroad program from his US university. And yes, we’re all Chinese-Filipinos. Putting that aside, we were there as a sort of reunion-slash-bonding because my friend (the one from the US) was on winter vacation and was back in the Philippines and was leaving a few days after. We all hadn’t seen much of each other in over half a year, so it was great just talking about the good old Beijing days, and the future as well.

One was working. One was going back to studying and was thinking of getting an internship. And then there was me, the one was going back to studying in China. Looking at the 3 of us was looking at my younger self watching The Joy Luck Club over and over again, wondering when I would reach that age where me and my friends would be discussing our lives and how we’d all be headed in different directions. It’s really funny how things pass by so quickly. Part of me believes that I’m still that 13 or 14 year old who was in a hurry to get to 15 and 16, and another part of me can’t believe I’m turning 24 this year. It’s really fascinating yet aggravating at the same time, to have time pass by so quickly.

This line of thought brings me back to a dinner I had with my ICA-AdMU girls a while back. It made me think, a couple of years from now, we would all be having dinner or lunch together just like that time, but with our husbands and kids.

This decision of mine to go back to China for another semester, coupled with seeing friends growing up and moving to other countries, as well as seeing friends get married or engaged, just further underlines the reality that we’re all moving away and leaving our nests. It’s a bit scary yet exciting at the same time, especially when we know that there are certain realities that we have to face alone. Just a few years ago, I was still nestled snuggly in my parents’ embrace, protected from the world around me. But seeing the me now, taking on the world one language at a time, deciding to go to China alone and continue with my studies and hopefully to eventually find work, it’s a thrilling and frightening experience.

Deep down, I still feel like a kid. I feel so naive and unsure of the world. But part of me knows that soon, whether I like it or not, reality will catch up and force me into the big bad world.

You know, sometimes I wish time would just stop, that I can enjoy whatever it is that I have and am experiencing right now. Sometimes I wish, things would just remain the way they are. Like how relationships with friends are, or how cute little cousins or nieces and nephews are better as babies and toddlers than when they are all grown up. I wish so many things will last forever, yet I wish that I can have many more of these same experiences for the future.

Oh reality. I feel like I’m me, but I’m looking at a me that I’m not familiar with.

New Year, New Addiction

Hello to my first post for the year.

Despite meeting the new year with a lot of stress-filled worries, and getting this and that illness along the way (for the past week), there is something I have been looking forward to for the past few days. I’ve recently encountered SHERLOCK, this amazing new BBC series that came out in 2010. With 3 episodes in the first season, and seemingly 3 episodes (with 2 episodes out so far) for this second season, it has gained some notice on my twitter feed for the past few days.

Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous (and infamous) fictional character, Sherlock (the TV series) brings Sherlock Holmes to a modern setting. Think of it like CSI or NCIS or Bones, but instead of fancy gadgets and teams cooperating with one another to solve a crime, you have Sherlock with his wits and his friend colleague John Watson. Of course, Sherlock doesn’t just take on any case, he takes on the weirdest and most challenging ones. He’s calls himself a consultant detective, someone the police ask for help when cases are beyond the police’s ability. With a quick look around his surroundings, his deductions and cancelling out those that are not possibilities, he comes to his conclusion which is perfect more often than not.  He’s kind of like a British Sheldon Cooper, because he tends to think in a practical manner and does away with his feelings. He’s also very blunt and honest, in a manner that oftentimes insults other people. He has very little friends, though he is more well respected in his field than Sheldon is. Alike, yes. But not the same.

Moving on. Do you know who Sherlock’s character – Benedict Cumberbatch looks like? The main character from Merlin – Colin Morgan, who of course plays Merlin. The first time I saw the episode, I thought it was a grown up Colin Morgan, or one of those digitally enhanced age-adding effects where they make Colin look older.

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Uncanny similarity right?! I thought it was just me imagining things, but apparently it’s quite well-known on the internet. And oh, another amazing thing, Benedict Cumberbatch sort of sounds like Alan Rickman. I thought it was another thing that I imagined in my head, with me being such a Merlin fan and sort of fancying Alan Rickman, but apparently it’s not just in my head! Listen to the video below.

So yes. It’s not all in my head. And if you think this is the end of my new addiction and discovery, wait till you listen to the voice playing on the youtube video below this paragraph. It’s heavenly. It’s an ideal choice for the voice you’d hear when listening to an audio book.

The only bad thing about finding myself addicted to this new series? Waiting for the next episode to come. It doesn’t help that there are only 3 episodes per season, and the last season before this came a year and a half ago. It’s as frustrating as waiting for the new season of Merlin to come out. 9-10months of waiting for the new season, not really a short wait, is it?

I cannot wait for Episode 3 of Season 2 to come out. But at the same time, I wish it wouldn’t come, so I wouldn’t have to wait so long for the next season. Even with an hour and half of viewing time per episode, it’s really not enough. I’ll have to satisfy myself with countless episodes of CSI, Bones, NCIS, and other similar shows till the next season arrives. Of course, there’s still Sherlock Holmes 2 which I haven’t gotten to watching yet.