03 January 2013

Reflecting Year 2012

Time flies..... At a rather terrifying pace, another year has gone.

But I have no complaints at all. Year 2012 has been a really eventful year for me. I'm glad and really appreciate that everything happened to my favor.


It all started with the journey to Kyoto in early Feb.
All this while I prefer to explore places alone, and Kyoto was the furthest I've ever been on Japan, and my first time visiting western Japan (Kansai).

Ever since, I've been there for 4 times in different seasons. Kyoto is famous for it's constant changing scenes according to the seasons, and the spring & autumn is especially one of the best in Japan.

The famous golden pavilion, Kinkakuji (金閣寺).
Kinkakuji 金閣寺

Jidai Matsuri (時代祭)
Gion Higashi ladies
紅葉 Red leaves

For the past few years I've been staying in eastern Japan (Kanto), so it's refreshing to experience the differences of Japan, as the east and west looks so familiar and yet so different than each other. Traveling is a great lesson and broadens one's views on many aspects.

One particular thing I like about western Japan is you can felt the warmth from the people, not just in terms of hospitality, but even by observing people on the streets you can just feel it.


Although I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to secure the scholarship back in 2011, but I'm doing pretty well here to support myself. With the JASSO's scholarship and working in the university somehow managed to cover my monthly expenses.

This certainly HELPED a lot!
「あなたは 尚美学園大学 在学特待生 として平成24年度の学費を免除します。」

I don't shop frequently for new cloths or stuffs, but I'd spend quite a sum on CDs & books. And partially extra pocket money when traveling around.


Since I've acquired quite a lot of stuffs in 2011, naturally in 2012 I didn't spend a lot on getting new gadgets.

iPad 2
I got it for free actually, or so it seems.

File pic, the family's iPad.

Initially my sis asked me to get a purse for her, but she doesn't have enough cash to pay me back. So in return, I've asked for her iPad that she left at home and seldom use.

iPad 3 was the latest model that time (Aug) and to me iPad 2 is already good enough for my usage. Though I do fancy the new retina display and better camera, I'm perfectly satisfied even without them.

iPad has been very useful to replace in my daily life, particularly studies as I can refer my notes in PDF stored on Dropbox. Sometimes I'd use it to sketch some diagrams instead of using pen & paper.

Canon PowerShot G15
In Dec I've finally upgraded my camera gear. The IXY 920 IS I've been using since 2009 is still working fine, but I needed a camera to further polish my photography skills. Credits to the IXY 920 IS, until today I'm still amazed how well the photos turned out sometimes. As for G15, it's the new G series launched in Oct.
A little off topic but due to numbering superstition, Canon frog-leaped the number from G12 to G15, as 13 & 14 may not be good numbers in certain culture beliefs.

Canon Powershot G15

Perhaps I should have bought it earlier to bring it to Kyoto in Nov, but I do not regret it as the price reduced in Dec. Overall, I got the camera + 16 GB SD card within ¥50,000, which I think is pretty good deal.
I actually thought of getting PowerShot S110 or the mirror-less EOS M, but ultimately went for the G.

Macro shot is pretty good.
Aurora Salmon

Really impressed with it's performance in a low-light situation.

The main purpose of getting G15, is to learn the basics of controlling aperture & shuttle speed, something that I couldn't do on the IXY 920. Once I get hold the basic controls, I managed to capture better pics in low-light condition (something that I've struggled with IXY 920).

Ironically, sometimes I find it slightly difficult to capture pic under bright sunlight. I guess I still need a bit of time to get used to the camera.

iPhone 5?
Nope, I didn't switched to iPhone 5, still keeping my faithful iPhone 4, although the 2 years contract has completed. One of the main reason is because it needs to sign up LTE Internet plan, which cost more than the current 3G plan. But I do fancy that SoftBank finally introduced the tethering function, something that comes with international iPhones.

Rumor spreads that Apple might be releasing 5S in the summer. I'll just wait around and see what Apple plans ahead.


In year 2012 itself, the family has been growing bigger than ever. Elder sibling & cousins are getting married and we had baby booms. Even with the constant updates we get via Facebook or Skype, I would still lost count on the latest happenings. Anyway, it's always a good thing that the big family is doing well.
Currently am looking forward to the coming Chinese New Year for the proper family reunion.


What I plan to achieve in 2013, is to decide my future in Japan. Now that I'm in my final year in university, it's either I start job-seeking, or continue to further study to the Master courses. At the moment I'm more inclined towards the latter.

Now, choosing the right university to further study is the tricky part.
Personally, I'd prefer to move out of Kanto & settle down in Kansai. Kyoto or Osaka would be good, but where am I going to study next?

The question arises whether I want to continue further study in my current field, which is sounds & informatics, or something I'm passionate about, the study of anthropology. Though it's kinda far-related, but I do believe there must be a link between the historical/geographical background of a place with sounds.

Speaking realistically, moving to so far away would cost quite a sum logistically. But let's not worry about that until I've decided which university that I should move on next.

Seek out the chances I must.

And one more thing that I mustn't forget, is remembering the passion to keep myself motivated for the rest of the journey! ;)

Sorry that I didn't update this blog as often as I did, as nowadays the new medias had taken up blog's role to express oneself. But, from time to time I will still continue to write on this blog.

'til then, wish everyone will have a great year 2013!

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