31 December 2011

Rewind, the Year 2011

Hello, it's end of the year again. As surreal as it seems to be, but yeah, 2012 is just close-by at the doorstep. I take this as an opportunity to reflect back on what the year has been.

I'd say, year 2011 resembles the letter "W".

In other words, ups and downs but thankfully it started and ended on higher grounds.
A little wiser I had become perhaps, most importantly slowly getting better hold to manage myself physically and mentally. It was, all good. :)

At the start of the new year I've took up the position of web system crew of Malaysian Students Association in Japan, working together with a group of fellow Malaysian students. I'd say, I'm thankful to be able to work with them, no such thing as neglecting responsibilities, as after all most of us are well-thought of responsibility in Japan.

As a part of the web system crew, I've learn a lot, especially formal communication via e-mail, in both English & Japanese. Also, part of the package is managing social media sites for real, though I wasn't able to monitor it frequently but at least it wasn't left unattended at all. While it's a voluntary work, some of my transport expenses were compensated. Some new connections and networks were made, like the essential contact with the embassy.

Although most of the members in MSAJ are scholarship students, I don't find myself the odd one out as I'm a privately-funded student. I take it as an investment to dedicate some of my time and money into the activities, and the rewards, as I'd mentioned above, are pretty lucrative.

While I plan to remain as the web system member for the next term, I'll leave most of the works to the new batch of members (hopefully someone reliable) and remain perhaps as a mentor figure? Some of the works are still going on and we couldn't just let the new members to take over without a transection period.

On Feb, I went back to Malaysia for Spring holiday. It was a long long holiday and meaningful as well. Managed to celebrate the second half of Chinese New Year, but the biggest event of the year was eldest sister's wedding in March. One of my "mission" was to help sis' wedding arrangement. Being an event organizer herself, she knows the best how to make the event a successful one.

However, before the wedding date, disaster struck Japan as we all know, on 11 March. Naturally it cast doubt whether I should return to Japan to continue study almost a month later from the date, but Saitama prefecture where I'm based in wasn't that badly affected, and since there's no sign of delay from the university (eventually it came but it's a bit too late to change the flight schedule then), I've decided to return to Japan on early April just in time for the new semester starts.

Back to sister's wedding, it was a success though the gloomy sky almost ruined the outdoor wedding dinner. I'd say, sometimes I'd stick with logical reasoning rather then leave it up to so-called divine's intervention when it comes to certain matters.

After 2 months of spring break, finally I'm back in Japan for my university's 2nd year. I always think the Japanese is brilliant to start a new study/work year on early April in lieu of the sakura blossom season.


Back to the university, am glad to receive the news that I've been waived off tuition fees for the rest of the year. Hard work from the 1st year paid off nicely. :)

While I just back to Japan for awhile, aftershocks still happened from time to time. The first time I experienced it, I hesitated whether I should pick up important stuffs (first came into mind was iPhone hah) and *evacuvate* lol.... But after a few more times it gradually settled down and even if a small one struck, I'd just ignore it. It does take a few shocks before completely get used to it.

By that time, I've been busily occupied with lots of activities either related to university or some off-class events. From that point onwards this blog has not been actively updated even more than before, as I apologetically claim business as an excuse.

But that doesn't stop me from taking some nice photos at the same time. :)

The first semester in 2nd year passed rather swiftly, and here we go summer holiday again. The university made adjustment such that they tried to finish all the lessons and exams 2 weeks earlier therefore starting the summer break earlier than usual. The reason is trying to reduce the consumption of electric due to massive use of air-cond as Saitama is one of the hottest region in entire Japan.

Summer, one of the most active season in Japan where countless matsuri or festivals are carried out in almost every corner of Japan. This year I've managed to visit quite a few of them and it's very pretty.


Not long after the wonderful events, I'm again, back in Malaysia for summer break. Somehow I felt relieved when I've confirmed when I'll be going back again, to get more composed and concentrate for tasks ahead, then enjoy my break back home.


It was a good trip back, meeting back with some friends whom I haven't met for years, something I look forward everytime I went back.

Enter October, where autumn starts slightly earlier this year. It marks the start of a busy season up until the end of the year even now. Anticipating autumn for the pretty flowers called Cosmos.


This year kinda unfortunate that wasn't able to take many pics of the red leaves as I was pretty occupied with things going on.

In November attended one of the most interesting event, at least to me, that maiko/geiko from Kyoto performing live in Tokyo. It was absolutely an eye-opener for me, and since then I was hooked up with the arts.
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Finally landed a job in the university as a student's staff. Job started in late Nov so it's only a month or so but I'm loving the job!

Anyway, Malaysian Night 2011 was held earlier than last year, and glad that the event was a successful one!

As for now.... some "loots" of the year. 2011 has been another fruitful year accumulating gadgets.

Nintendo 3DS. I got a reasonable excuse that a lecturer required us to play a game in order to understand game's music better.

MacBook Pro. A change of taste and although it has since become my main computer, still yet to get used to it, or compromise it with my usual style when using a Windows computer.

The previous bicycle had served me well for the past 2 years and since repairing it will cost more than than when I bought it, it's time to switch to a new bike and here is it.

Westone UM2 RC. I needed a smaller size monitoring earphone as the M50 headphone is too big to be carried out portably, and I happen to found this good deal at a headphone festival for this in-ear monitor earphone.

Finally, probably one of the most satisfying deal, Audio Technica W1000X wooden headphone. I'm a big fan of wooden stuffs and by luck an acquaintance is letting go at a very attractive price. The best headphone I ever have, after M50.

So yeah.... 2011 was a pretty interesting year for me. Glad that at the end of the year I felt that I'm getting maybe slightly wiser than a year ago? Experiences were accumulated and looking forward for a more productive 2012.

In 2012 will be my 3rd year university, so it's about time to start thinking of career opportunities. Currently I have a few leads in my head, will see if it works out at the correct time.

Oh and I'd love to travel around parts of Japan if possible. Though I've been here for almost 3 years, I haven't really explore much of the country due to financial factor. But I guess the money spend will be worthwhile so I'm gonna plan to goto somewhere out of Kanto region. First stop, naturally will be the west side, say perhaps Kyoto?

Anyway, with this blog post concluding the blog posts for year 2011, I wish you all a happy new year and may year 2012 be a better year for everyone! (just hope that the Mayan prediction of apocalypse doesn't happen lol!)


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