Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Farewell to Japan

A life overseas can be difficult. It can be more difficult when moving to a new country, with its different culture and language - implies an even greater life change. But it is also one of my greatest experience. The past three-and-a-half years in Japan, instead of a one-way cultural shock, I'd say to some extend we have engaged in some cross-cultural experience. There are so many people to thank - good friends and good people for making this journey memorable.
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Foreign students get home sick (although that is not so much of my case). I have been placed with the Takahashi as my host family since April 2002. My japanese host family did not ask me to help them do chores. I didn't live with them since my stay here was not quite short term. Very fortunate to have them - spending time with them (especially my host mum) was truly enjoyable and rewarding.
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As some say, I was too frequent a traveler. Others, I have spent too much time blogging. Quite hardworking I am although not that brilliant. I am much indebted to the Japanese Government for awarding me the scholarship (a big chunk of money) for full time studies in Kyoto University and a life time experience.
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The study of food science at the molecular level was indeed interesting (no doubt tough). I spent two years manipulating DNAs, expressing food proteins with bacterias (and also insect cells) and finally earning a Master degree. I have learnt a great deal in bio-techniques from my teachers. All of us (lab members) went through a periodic of ups and downs. And some had hard times getting good results. But we often bounced back from those downs after a good holiday break together. Recently, 6 months after I started my doctoral program, with more than enough reasons, I decided to quit - I am offered with better opportunities.
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I will miss them. Dorm living - overall a great experience (some good and some bad) and some great company. Students from different continents and cultures, of different races and colors, different social strata, religions and outlooks live together (for sure not without any cultural misunderstandings). Expected - since living as part of a big family is not always easy. I have enjoyed the sharings, the many parties and outings, and most importantly - the friendship.
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Being house parents (and dorm staffs) can sometimes a taunting task. The task more complex and difficult than one might imagine. Good food, clean environment - I appreciate all they have done.
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Well, well ... I am not (so) fluent with my nihongo. This year, I did have a japanese friend for some serious language exchange, but mastering a new language is not all that easy. Perhaps I am just not very good with language. I have to be careful not to forget it after returning to my home country.
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My choice of a dentist - I went upon recommendation of a thai friend. My dentist and his family are very kind and friendly.
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Good friends enrich our lives. Asian friends and some from far off places - they have made my good times better and bad times bearable. I have learnt alot from them. And we often hang out together - coping together being a gaijin.

I wish everyone good luck. And also to thank blog readers - this blog will be one year old soon.

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is slow-ripening fruit. -- Aristotle.

14 comments:

Nightraveller said...

Hey frenz, it's very touching reading this post.

Have a nice journey home and have a brand new start. Even u r back to the working field again, I believe u have evolved and advanced into someone more mature to handle working life (aka サラリーマン :-p)

And I must thank you for being so friendly and nice in welcoming us, the new batch Monbusho students last year.

All the best.

zbjernak said...

wow...
ouch..
so touching
so sad..
i can feel it...
ur heart...heavy... to leave all of them behind...

hehheheheheheh...

well... i can only say...

WELCOME BACK TO MALAYSIA...

have a safe trip

Eddie said...

sorry Pat, by the time i got down to the first floor, you were already on ur way to the airport.. haha
Thanks for the "rubbish " you left in the bag. Duh !

Hope to see u again...

Bon Voyage

Patrick Leong said...

hi hi. it is hard to say goodbye to friends. sometimes it is better to just leave alone and not anyone seeing you off. another hour i will be on my way first to seoul. waiting and blogging in the airport :P thanks again for all the support and friendship. issho ni gambarimashou !

Lene said...

Such beautiful memories you have of Japan. I know you'll keep them in your heart forever. It's really never easy to say goodbye...Yet , we shall look toward that horizon where we start a new beginning, a new chapter in life. Meet new and old friends, and go back to your hometown. All the best, Pat. Have a nice trip back home! =)

Eddie said...

i think you are really addicted to blogging!! Even in the airport, you will find ur way to access ur blog. Duh...lets try putting u in the dessert.
The cold you are having now is caused by a new strain of virus.
They call it "bloggerititus maniac"

Sidney said...

Good luck my friend. Have a safe trip home. It was nice to visit your blog once in a while!

noomai said...

Have a safe trip home, Patrick! I'll surely get to see you again. Good luck with the new strand of life!

Take care.

Acrix said...

Bet u have arrived in Malaysia d :) Okaeri! Have a good rest and a good start here :)

~AnGeL~ said...

u forgot to pack me in your bag!!!!!!!! how does it feel like to be home? wishing you all the best in the new journey that you are about to start. i am sure everyone will miss you... :) do take care, and i will see you again in malaysia in the near future.

Amanda Brightwell said...

What a beautiful post. =)

Melissa said...

Patrick! I wish I had the chance to meet you before you left! I hope you have a safe trip back home , and cant wait to hear all about Malaysia:)

Patrick Leong said...

nightraveler : i am glad to know you too. i hope you do well in your studies. i am excited to start work. yesterday was out shopping for working clothes and shoes. also bought my brand new cellphone (minus the camera and video function - too expensive).

zbjernak : thanks. i am enjoying the food although the weather a little hot. the past two days was tiring. i hope to get more rest over the weekends.

eddie : it is ok. the taxi came earlier than as supposed. please keep the 'rubbish'. if i come to japan early next year, i will take it from you again. thanks alot. 'bloggerititus maniac' ? i am sure i am on intensive medication now. i hope i still find time to blog (i am sure i will). in fact, after one round of visiting around the city yesterday, i found out there're actually many good sceneries (to capture). yesterday weather was quite good. i am starting to like malaysia :P

arglene : thanks. if you come to malaysia, please do not hesitate to contact me. i have not the time to contact charlene yet. will give her a call next week.

sidney : i think i will try to blog at least once a week. i did manage to take some nice pictures (i think) while inside the plane (flying from osaka to seoul).

noomai : thanks thanks. good luck to you too. hope we will meet again.

acrix : i have already started comparing between malaysia and japan. as usual complaints here and there. looking forward to settle down as soon as possible. need to find new apartment in johor bahru early next week.

angel : pack you in my luggage ? i will have excess luggage. i broke my bag's handle (too heavy). on the other hand, i had to pay about 6000 yen for checking in 40 kg (of my luggage). i was hoping the officer a little lenient and 'close on eye'. didn't work although i tried to be as charming and witty as i could (she still has her other eye opened) :P

amanda : thanks. how's the baby doing ? take care.

melissa : i am sure we will have the chance to see each other in the future. if you visit malaysia or singapore, do contact me. you know my email address right ? or just leave a note in my chatbox. have a good weekend.

Lrong said...

Patrick, you have had enough of sushi already meh? I salute your courage to quit midway... and my best wishes to you in your future plans... you are still maintaining this blog, desho?