Snow, which as usual, London couldn’t deal with. But which my very tropical mom was very thrilled about.
Chinese New Year brought dumplings and crazy costumes to Raymont Hall. And Candice to London.
Back to St. Gallen for the first time in five years. And Zurich provided some much-needed sunny days.
Some sunny respite: The calm before the essaywriting storm.
Essays x 5, Redbull cans x 90, Readings x ∞, Life x 0
Back to sunny Singers for the World Cup (damn Paul) and Super Junior fangirling!
One more month with my nearest and dearest, with the shadow of the dissertation never far behind.
Back to London for dissertation hell. May in a repeat, with a non-existent supervisor (not my fault) and extremely last-minute cramming (entirely my fault).
Farewells, birthdays, farewells.
Goodbye London, Bonjour Montreal! This was easily the best decision I made all year.
Three weeks in Montreal became two months (the second-best decision I made all year). And we went to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
Christmas back in London. No crazy cooking sesh or even crazier boxing day sales this time; just good company and lots of Home Alone guffaws.
It’s been a good ride.
I’m ready for 2011.
Bonne année à toi!
The most epic of a year together, the most epic of friends, the most epic of farewells, the most epic of pictorial chronologies in a long while, the most epic of tributes in a justifiably emotional state.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
[Goldsmiths Class of 2010. Asian Represent.]
To say that 2009 was the worst year of my life is an understatement. But what goes down also must really come up, so it comes as no surprise that 2010 has proven to be nothing short of amazing for me.
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Food is just food, no matter how you look at it. Not that that’s a bad thing; it isn’t. But a super flavorful bowl of galbi tang is just that: a super flavorful bowl of galbi tang.
Years from now, even the most mind-blowing of meals would probably trigger only a fond but extremely hazy thought; tastes and textures slip easily into vagueness. But years from now, it’s the people with whom I shared these meals who will still matter. I will remember that F‘s farewell meal was one partaken over spitfire Mandarin and plenty of belly laughs. I will remember that J had me walk 30 minutes to have the best galbi tang I’ve ever had and how I always seem to unearth one more fun fact about this guy every single time we meet.
Dinner table conversations and pillow talk. Oh, they’re one and the same.
How bittersweet, now that we’ve all attended our last lecture.
Wasn’t it just yesterday when we trudged up to the MRB for our welcome briefing?
Where did all my borrowed time go?
Most of what I wanted to say, I’ve said already.
Aren’t moving photo montages with music just that tad bit more fun than stationary pictures? I know; I’ll change my mind about this tomorrow.
When you revisit specific places you used to live at, there’s an odd sort of feeling that follows. You hope everything is the same as it was when you were living there, yet instead of pure relief that follows when you discover nothing has changed, you feel a strange little sadness. I’m not sure why, but this always happens to me. I felt this way when I drove past my parents’ first marital home last year, when I went to Ierse Predikherenstraat in Leuven two years ago and also, when I visited Rosenbergweg the other day.
I suppose this is because these places will always be special to me and there is this little tug in my heart when it feels like my past self is speaking to my current self. It’s odd, and a little sad, but it’s really nice at the same time. I can’t quite explain why.
So, St. Gallen again, for the first time in five whole years.
Five years ago when I first took the hour-long train from Zurich Flughafen to this little town, it was my very first time in Europe. That summer marked a start to my insatiable wanderlust toward Europe; it’s pretty much of an understatement to say I haven’t looked back since. St. Gallen was a rite of passage of sorts for me and coming back again after so long was very special. Some things have changed but most of it is just as I remembered it. I saw classrooms with long wooden tables we were told to knock on as a form of applause for other students, I saw the school cafe where I nipped off for a hot cross bun every single lunchtime, I saw the long Müller-Friedberg-Strasse that H and I used to walk down to get home from school… I sat in the cathedral which I still consider to be the most beautiful in the whole of Europe, I took many detours into small lanes surrounding Marktplace, I smiled at good old Vadien guarding the centre of town, and of course I could not leave without getting myself an Olma bratwurst.
So some things don’t change; that’s wonderful to know. I think mostly it’s me who’s changed, along with the people I spent that precious summer with. It saddened me for a moment when I was sitting in the abbey: the realisation that years of innocence and youth are permanently and unreachably rooted in the past. But then I think about what I was like when I was 20 and living in St. Gallen, and I am quite sure I don’t want to be that person ever again. I don’t think I ever existed as my own person all the way till I was 23 and there is no way I would resurrect certain destructive relationships, the first telling sign of which actually did surface in St. Gallen. Instead of feeling so sad about precious years being robbed from me and all that wasted time, I really should be grateful that I’ve made it this far, stronger and hopefully, wiser.
So coming back again after so long, I left feeling very happy that things have changed for me, while old haunts remain the same. The memories don’t fade, but they always have a place to be.