Wednesday, July 18

Discovery Year - Eye opener

As you know, I've completed my Chinese learning programme in Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT). It was a wonderful experience as expected by our university to open our eyes to the world. I wasn't alone, I went on this programme with Sieh Yee, the great company!!

WEATHERIt was a dream to see snow in real life, and I've realized it! SNOW! We arrived in Harbin on 23 February 2012, and it was just the right time there when it snowed for the first tim a few days later after a long cold winter. However we missed the Ice and Snow festival because the ice sculptures were starting to melt at that time.

I remembered 8 March, we played snow war and we slide down a slope, it was a thrill and great fun.

Its spring during April and you start to see green plants everywhere. Blossom blooms! =D In the beginning it was still cold but it is good enough to not wear your down jacket already.

Slowly june will be the early summer. You can wear shorts, and T-shirt by that time.

In short, winter is long in Harbin. No worries, they have heater in every building. and Summer in Harbin is rather short, it lasted only for 2 months or so. The weather wasn't as tough as we think,we adapt accordingly without much hassle.

Study life was great! We just need to do what the teacher told us to, then we can move on to doing things we like.

I would say I wasn't really into learning chinese there, rather I would say I was there to enjoy the cultural exchange experience. The differences between Bruneian Chinese and those in China is quite large, I would say.

We have the same festival but the way we celebrate it is different. We refer to the same food in different words. The expressions we used is also different.

Example of  food they eat during CNY,
The food we eat during Chinese New Year, for example. They don't eat Keropok with "Archa". Some part of them eat dumplings, and some eat "nian gao", and near to southern part, some eat "Mi Xian".

Example of speaking language,
"We" in northern chinese refers to "Za men" rather than "Wo men".
"What?" in northern chinese refers to "Sa?" rather than "Shen me?"

Example of how they celebrate a festival
One that I personally experienced is the Dumpling Festival. In Brunei, we bring those dumplings to the beach and throw them into the sea. They don't practice this here, maybe for the sake of not wasting food. They have this culture of wearing a bracelet and let the first rain that comes on the Dumpling Festival wet the bracelet, and you make a wish, cut the bracelet, and let it flow with the river. Interesting right?

Example of eating culture
As I believe you know, they use only chopsticks, without chinese spoon in very typical chinese restaurant. We found this difficult at first because I am so used to using spoon to eat but slowly get used to it.

Sieh Yee and I had opportunities during semester holidays to have a short vacation elsewhere.

We went to Dalian and Shenyang at first, and before we come back, we visited Beijing, the capital city of China!

First, I would proudly say that Sieh Yee made the 4 months more meaningful staying there. Making a lot of friends and learning new things is normal, but getting friends to be able to talk about anything just feels great. You don't need to worry, you just gotta let things off your heart, telling others. Most probably, we think so much alike. We laughed at our mistakes, we talk problems out and solve them, we feel afraid together, we do silly things together, and of course we got through the semester together!

Second, I have to thanks all my teachers and classmates for helping us so much with our lives there in Harbin. The teachers there are like friends, trying to help us improve our chinese. Besides, of course they are strict and they have rules to obey. HIT is famous for its strict rules and regulation that helps them to succeed. F2 buddies, in fact F level buddies, thanks for all the great moments!

Thirdly, Thanks to all chinese friends I met from "Chong Feng Ba" members, table tennis, calligraphy club and also dancing classes. Although we might not meet again, but friends, you will be remembered as the beautiful memories I have in Harbin Institute of Technology!

Thanks Ethan, for your passions in calligraphy, your effort in helping me out with the calligraphy work is so much appreciated, and I will remember you as a great leader, a great friend, a great dance partner who never gives up. Its my honour to meet you! :D

Thanks Uranus, for your cuteness and understanding. Maybe the way we work, the way we think, the way we act and the thoughts we have are so much alike, that I can somehow understand you without knowing you, and vice versa. I always love chatting with you and talk things out. Thanks for being a great friend!

Thanks Pan Jian, the great dancer. Our teacher always appoint him to run a demonstration, clearly shows he is experienced. Oh well, I love dancing, and he taught me a lot on this! and of course thanks for checking out on me during Beijing Trip. He was really like a great brother, worrying about his sister. It feels so heart warming!

Thanks Jia Hao, the great brother among friends. He always have that kind of feeling like a brother who will always be there when you need him! hehe! Thanks for offering your help in everything, and thanks to you, I could participate in the table tennis tournament. I am sorry I've disappointed you in some ways, perhaps you expect me to be better and maybe I could, but well, for all that, I appreciate everything. The confidence and endless hope you have in me, thank you!

Thanks Gan Lei for being so cute ! haha! We didn't spend too much time hanging out but he always have that kind of feelings that makes girl wanna tell him he's cute! *right, Sieh Yee?*

Thanks Senior Xu, for being the great table tennis sparring partner! :)

Thanks Davy (Dai Wei) for being the most fashionable person in the university. HIT is a top university, and it is not surprised to see people not prioritizing in their outlooks so much compared to other chinese universities. They were too busy with their studies to take care of their outlook but Davy is different! He caught korean's attention alot because he is fair and somehow looks korean too! He is a nice chatter too ;)

Thanks to F2 BUDDIES. Inna, Natsya, Serga, Chary, Suin, Mijin and Dajeong, we have great times together!! Sun island and all the gatherings. Thanks for being there for me like a family! <3

Long story, and I can't summarise them properly!! :D haha! anyway, I enjoyed it very much. There are a lot of first times in it.

First time watching sunset with Suin and the other F1 class friends.
First time falling in love with Harbin Beer.
First time closing my eyes and feel the snow on my face.
First time playing snow war.
First time dance like nobody is around.
First time going into a russian bar and enjoy the free beer and wine.
First time writing so many postcards to friends all over the world.
First time away from family and serious assignments for so long.
First time putting down everything and just enjoy the moments without worries.
First time getting to know more international friends!

Coming back from China, I see things differently. a lot more relax, although still very stressed. a lot more open minded, although still not so open minded. *laugh*

Ahh, too many first times! and what a messy post! Too many things to tell and didn't want to post a long essay over here. =p

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