Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sucked into memories
Tonight is one of those random moments that just sucked you back into memories of times you thought have departed from your world for quite some time.

For tonight, the memories that was being aired were from my China Synergy Programme trip.

The Great Wall took my breathe away, just like the air quality in Beijing; the Xi'an anciencity put me into an imagination of Qin dynasty, just like how the Forbidden City made my mind ran wild about what can happen in Qing dynasty in this complicated complex. I can remember the heat, the CSP shirts that we wore day in day out, the very cheap but ultra-classy karaoke that we had in Guangzhou and Shanghai, the friends, the camera crew, the laughter, the food, the cakefight, the endless birthday celebration, the bus rides, the train rides, the flight. I creeped back to facebook, silently uploaded the unfinished pictures. I stopped at Beijing Great Wall that time. It was only Day 9 of my 17-day programme, Day 10 of my total 25-day trip. So the upload continued tonight.

So in 30th June, I departed from Malaysia, to venture on my first lone trip without pre-made friends. 

Having around 300 delegates, movement is always spectacular. We can easily fill up airports and restaurants.

Even the look of the bus was grand enough.

I was in Group 6 - turned out to be the loudest group, the group with most ideas as well as problems, with most people celebrating their birthdays during the trip!

For example, we all got a Chinese '6' tatoo on ourselves.

The trip started at Hong Kong. A shot took in Hong Kong History Museum that got me to understand HK so much better.

At Guangzhou. Having a life shocking time trying worms.

And watched great dragon dance.

And breathe-taking lion dance.

Then we booked an entire plane to fly to Xi'an.

Imagine living in a city with well-preserved city walls since 3000 years ago! It's like walking with history!

Of course, the terracotta.

Steven, a friend we made from Xi'an Jiaotong University, a host for us who was abducted by the programme a day before his exams.

Then it was Beijing! And Great Wall!!! With Melissa an AIESEC a Malaysian an ex-ASEAN scholar to RGs and RJC and now Oxford.

And witnessing how the desire to conquer great wall motivates people of all ages.

The Olympics Table-tennis stadium in Beijing University.

The Temple of Heaven - 天坛。 This is the largest stone stab with intricate cloud and mountain carvings.

Leaving our identities everywhere at corporate or government meet ups.

This was at People's Great Hall. Supposed to be a memorable moment for us going into such a great place.

But I like the historical sites better. Featuring Forbidden City. Featuring the gold vase which gold parts have been scraped off by foreign troops during their invasion to China. *history..* 

I saw 坤宁宫!A place where the empress stays!!!

Interesting: The longer the carvings are at the roof, the more important the building is.

御花园。The place where the emperor and concubines walk around.

Ice-cream suddenly turned everyone's favourite at a climate of 40'c.

I love the feel of anciencity. 

A quote from 周恩来 Museum. A quote I will use to motivate myself.

This was how I spent my birthday.

More talk on my birthday. Listening to 何振梁's talk on how he led the nation on the path to Olympics. Inspiring!

And I had my birthday celebration on the train from Beijing to Shanghai, on the same day as another group member Zhongqi.

Thanks to our birthday, the train crew had to clean 2 carriages and 2 rooms of cream.

My only punctual birthday gift from the camera crew!

Can't remember her name. But she's the tourguide head I love a lot!

And it was very quickly Shanghai. With modernity everywhere.

And then it was the last night. A dear roomie whom I will never forget - the memories and exchanges of precious thoughts for 17 days.

Me and Medi - the two NTU representatives.

The AIESECers in the trip! There were more actually, but they couldn't hear our 'Hey AIESEC' to take the pics.
And Andrew, Sherry and I spent the last few moment embracing Shanghai's peaceful morning.

So that was a very brief summary of my China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth trip. Overall, I would say this was an ultra-interesting trip. It was the first time I left the world I am familiar with and which is familiar with me, left everything and every identity behind, into a world where everyone is new, and nobody understands your history or your social identities. It's like starting a life almost afresh, being a human being you wanna be without the preconceived judgment by others based on your past. For myself, I was busy taking rest and spending time with myself, and was completely quiet for most of the trip, not voicing out opinions even when they are strong, not ra-ra-ing, not speaking up or making friends, and NO ONE asked me why I am so quiet - so different from what people will respond if I do that here in my world.

Sounds interesting and experience? You may take a look at the programme site. Disclaimer though, that whatever I just said was an OVERALL comment. There's definitely a lot more feelings and thoughts and conflicts involved that aren't apparent here.

So I flew back to Hong Kong, and erjie came the next day for another 6 days tour-around. The first thing I got her to try was the 发记's dessert!

The misty the Peak. My fourth time up there?!!

Recall my first Peak: January 2007. 

A really cool advertisment that I couldn't resist sharing.

The old memories again.

Recall January 2007.

Going loony in public is fun!

The only picture I put in just because I like it.

南苑莲池。A beautiful garden no one will expect to find in Hong Kong.

志莲净院。The serene haven in Hong Kong. Very beautifully and peaceful modern Buddhist temple. Love it.

大屿山天山大佛。The grandeur of human architecture and the power of religion.

心经简林。A place not well-known for its benefits. For the 有心人 to have peace of mind and breath-taking scenery.

凤凰山。My next hiking destination if I ever go Hong Kong again!

I love Olympics spirit.

The most unenjoyable part of the entire journey. Hot crowded Ocean Park.

But I got to see the jellyfish aquarium this time at Ocean Park! 

Arrived at Lamma Island. An island that I have categorised as my favourite Hong Kong spot now. :)

We were daring enough to venture into a quiet forest with only us, unknown trees and lotsa spiders!

But it was worth it! We saw the first windmill at Hong Kong!

King of the island. How about it? ;) 

It is this picture that got me realised that I am perhaps too tanned. These are the friendly AIESECers from Hong Kong University - friends like Fion Gary and Pinky and newly-made friends.

Reached my last stop - Macau. Erjie trying the best place for portugese egg tarts! Yummy I can still feel the taste in my mouth!

Taking the same shot as 1 year + ago.  *more nostalgia*

Recall: January 2007.

Fisherman's Wharf - a place I still love a lot.

Finally - my last stop before flying back to reality - a luxurious 3-hour spent in Macau Museum.

I just realised. Memories never fade. When I typed everything now, stories and sounds are still fresh in my mind. With this, I will move on and embrace another day. But before that, I think I should probably go sleep.

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