l'isle joyeuse

Posts Tagged ‘reflections

the word ふるさと furusato literally means “hometown,” but it can also mean home, or where one belongs.

being a person who calls japan a second home – my REAL home, where i am happiest and at my most natural, it is heartbreaking to see the damage caused by the great tohoku earthquake last friday. it is not something that could have been prevented, but i am glad that japan is such an efficient country, and i am touched time and time again by the warmth, kindness and honesty of the japanese people in difficult times like these. being far away from japan right now, there is nothing much i can do but keep a close watch on them, and pray for the best.

right now, the only thing i can do, is share the following song :

“ふるさと furusato.”

this song was performed by arashi and many other young japanese singers during the annual kohaku utagassen program this year, and it is perhaps the most suitable song for this particular moment in time. the lyrics really warm one’s heart, and i believe every single word in it, is true.

[click here to listen to the song]

[the peaceful greenery that calms and soothes the soul]
夕暮れせまる空に 雲の汽車見つけた
なつかしい匂いの町に 帰りたくなる
as dusk approaches, i come across a train of clouds
i feel like returning to the town with the nostalgic scents

[strangers always ready to share a smile and a victory sign]
ひたむきに時をかさね 想いをつむぐ人たち
ひとりひとりの笑顔が いま
僕の そばに
earnestly piling up the times
of the people who made my memories
each and everyone’s smiles are now
by my side

[my beloved host family in osaka, who loves me unconditionally at all times]
めぐりあいたい人がそこにいる やさしさ広げて待っている
山も風も海の色も いちばん素直になれる場所 
there are people there who I want to meet again
who are waiting for me with kindness      
the mountains, the winds and the color of the seas
it is the one place that i can be myself

[kind people who i met by chance in the arashi concert, are now my friends]
忘れられない物語がそこにある 手と手をつないで口ずさむ
my unforgettable stories are there, and we hum as we hold hands
the mountains, the winds and the color of the seas,
this is my hometown

[my kids in saitama, who clung to me and cried when i left, telling me to never forget them]
めぐりあいたい人がそこにいる やさしさ広げて待っている
there are people there who I want to meet again
who are waiting for me with kindness
the mountains, the winds and the color of the seas,
(this is my hometown)

[strangers who were more than glad to help, when i was lost and alone in the mountains of kyoto]
your hometown

[the place where i am the happiest]
my hometown

ganbare nippon!!!

the sun will rise again tomorrow.


today, i went to class with just a t-shirt underneath my normal parka =w= in the middle of winter.

it doesn’t quite feel like winter to me yet, even though it’s already january now. maybe it’s the lack of snow…

but i digress.

what i wanted to talk about today was the weather. yes, the weather. it was 17°C today when i went for class (hence the thin layer of clothing) and i am amazed at myself for thinking, “wow it’s warm today.”

whatever happened to the blistering heat of malaysia?! at this rate, i am going to die when i go home hahah!

i think it was the fact that it was 3°C the day before, and then below 2°C after nightfall almost every night, that made me think that 17°C is warm. being here has made my perception of “hot” all messed up now hahah! anyway, now it’s back to 7°C now as i type and i can hear the wind howling (literally) and my windows are vibrating a little due to the sheer force of it. scary as it may sound, i actually find it quite soothing. the whirring wind that comes and goes ocassionally throughout the night that reminds me that no matter what, something is happening in the world outside even as i sleep and dream of things that will never come true.

i’m going to miss the wind in japan when i go home! 😦

makes me a happy geek 🙂

yes, i do admit to being a geek. or nerd, whichever suits your fancy. that having been said, i am probably a disgrace to the geek community, as i’ve always joked with my friends. in the olden days, the word “geek” means someone who studies a lot, has practically no social life whatsoever and does not really care about their physical appearance, prefering to spend that precious time finding out how many miliseconds it takes an average human to blink their eyes.

but i, on the other hand, am different. i study (happily) what i am expected to, as well as what i am not needed to, but that’s only because i finish my things fast AND i feel bored whenever i don’t have anything on my hands. i DO have a social life. and a fairly good one at that (just ask any of my friends). i have been accused of being a “social butterfly” which, in the beginning, made me sputter “i SO am not!” incessantly, but now, i consider it a compliment 😀

and yes, i do care about my physical appearance, despite how i act sometimes. i buy and use nail polish. i have weekly mask routines to pamper myself. i put on some powder and blusher whenever i go out on a special occasion. i want to own a kimono in every shade of colour known to men (or women). i wish i had the money to buy everything and anything from the face shop.

i’ve been called a geek, even today 😀 the difference is, i love being a geek, and i wouldn’t change myself for anything ❤ thanks for the compliment, guys :p

listening to moriyama naotarou’s songs often made me think about a lot of things. a lot of SAD things, might i say. his voice is just filled with raw emotion and feels pure, untainted with commercialism that so often comes with a huge percentage of japanese pop songs today. it’s odd how much more sad i feel everytime i listen to his songs, yet somehow i feel stronger and more determined than ever. funny, isn’t it?

from flickr, gogojingo

“sakura” makes me wonder about my graduation in the future. it’s a given that i won’t be studying with my current classmates anymore after this semester ends, that i won’t be graduating alongside some of the best friends i’ve come to know in my university days. many people tell me that what i am getting in return is well worth the sacrifice, seeing as it is a chance that not many people have, a chance that might never come ever again.

but it still makes my heart ache to think that at the same time this year, my friends will be completing their thesis and final year projects, and finally graduating with pride. i will too, when i finish my last year upon coming back, but it shall be a lonely journey without the people whose company i’ve come to crave. no more crazy conversations, no more lunch breaks, no more calling each other up in the morning wondering if they overslept. it’s ironic how i’ve always wanted to have “sakura” as our song during our graduation party but i won’t be graduating with them. i’ve always thought that i would surely cry during our graduation, for “sakura” is a very meaningful and personal song for me. but now it seems i might be crying for completely different reasons *laugh*

nevertheless, regardless of how lonely it might be, it will be a road i must walk by myself if i want to experience what i’ve been longing for these past 8 to 10 years. i must remind myself that although i’d like to think that friendships and human relationships are not that fragile, not that easily broken, reality is harsh. but in my naive heart i will keep hoping that no matter how long, and how far the distance, the bonds that i’ve made in these past couple of years shall last for as long as i live.

therefore, my new year’s resolution would be to love and appreciate everyone, and everything around me.

happy 2009 明けましておめでとうございます

since the new year is just around the corner, i thought it would be fun to see how much i had changed in these past couple of years. i lost all my precious photos and datas that was in my old computer due to a hard disk malfunction so the photos i could find dated furthest back was… lessee, year 2005? have fun.

tsk tsk tsk. look at me. this photo was taken at the oldest chinese temple in malacca. i was in a bad mood at that time (ah those were the angsty, emotional days filled with pent up agony of being a teenager stuck in secondary school) hence my sour expression. i look young 😀

i loved that dress so much i wore it at least once a week! but now i have no idea where that dress is ;_; this photo was taken during the chinese new year in… a temple far far away called fgs dong zhen (no idea what it means) 😀 my legs look less fat in this photo lol.

2007 was my first time (and hopefully not my last) travelling to east malaysia, sabah. this photo was taken at the mount kinabalu national park. i look tired!

this year would be one of the most exciting years for me so far… a lot of firsts for me! i shall save that talk for another entry, though 😀 this photo is taken by my adorable “sister” karie at the recently-held comic fiesta 2008.

so, what do you think? i still think i look pretty much the same 😀

coming up next : more flashbacks XD


slice-of-life entries of my life in japan as an exchange student :) feel free to comment... they're my daily pieces of happiness!

to read my travel posts, please click on "voyages"

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