Friday, February 28, 2003
the elephants died
During the past year, many people passed away. They have been part of my life, my childhood memory, and I have never thought that they would leave one day, and so soon... Maybe that's the life, some new lives born to the world, some old spirits need to rest in peace. As we grow up, we inevitably have to face this kind of crucial change, more and more...

This morning I read the obituary news of the elephants of Taipei City Zoo [
Taipei News] Strange. I don't know why, but I feel so sad. I seldom cry at this moment, even at the funeral of my grandfather seven years ago. I guess I wasn't really aware what does death mean. These years I often thought of him, and as times goes by, it hit me harder than ever. But this time, a tear just dropped...

Actually I haven't seen them for years, and I could never tell which one was Ma Lan, which one was Lin Wang... It may sound incredible, but the news crashed me immediately. I felt so astonished and perplexed, and I couldn't accept it...

"If I could run away, hide away,
Forget the way I feel.
But your memory keeps haunting me,
Convincing me it's real...
Now you're not here,
Now you're not here..."

Thursday, February 27, 2003
It's true. Reading is not only a good choice when your misanthropy is at its peak, but also a good motivation to drag yourself from lethargy. Picked up some books from Pasila Library:

morning blue
dense cloud. gloomy air.
scandinavian landscape.

pensive mood. sad song.
the bliss of solitude.

uncanny despondence,
as the infinite split of hair.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003
i forgot to mention this song to the turkish gang. actually i had no much impression on it. the melody is sweet, but when i looked at the lyrics... well, very boyish silly love song. funnily, it's written by Vivian Hsu.

another cloudy day
this morning i woke up quite early (to my standard). it's another new day. no class, no schedule, no plan. just like everyday i have to struggle with this aimless life, try to find something for myself to do. (yes i'm kind of depressed now...)

this morning i found some part of me has died. sadly, i can't help but just watch it withered and gone. as the girl sitting on a bank and staring at the water flow with empty eyes, on a frozen misty morning...

or it's just the weather. the siberian wave probably come back to the north. wondering if it's still snowing in Istanbul...

Tuesday, February 25, 2003
I Wanna be Alone

Last night we fell apart, we fell apart
And I took the train to hell
All from the start I knew we'd fall apart
Every bubble bursts

Selfish and blind
Hard and unkind
Inside my mind I recline

I wanna be alone
I wanna be ignorant on my own
Still I wait by the phone
I wanna be adored
And now I'm indifferent to it all
Still I wait for your call

I woke up on a mattress, by a phone
I could hear my parents sing
Dad out of key, he tried his best to be
I could hear them sing

Happy Birthday! Thirty today!
Happy, so happy
(Oh yeah)

I wanna be alone
I wanna be ignorant on my own
Still I wait by the phone
I wanna be adored
And now I'm indifferent to it all
Still I wait for your call

Tell me why, can you tell me why

chocolate crinkles
well, welcome to granny yvonne's bakery. recently i'm hopelessly addicted to cooking. i think it may be kind of transformed manifestation of my manupulative nature, eh? i really like cooking. i like to make things by myself. i enjoy the process from preparing to waiting the results. i want the food i cooked can be appreciated by others...

and i really really really have no appetite for the unicafe or xxx-burger food.

anyway, today i made this chocolate crinkles. not bad, and some friends who have tasted all liked it. and very easy. the recipe differs.
the one i followed is in chinese. i reduced the eggs, sugar and oil though. the following is the summary.

60g butter or margarine
8 tablespoons cocoa
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(i used 1 ts vanilla sugar)
1 egg
powdered sugar for dusting the cookies
(i just used normal sugar...)

In a small pan, melt the butter. Leave the heat. Stir in the cocoa powder until combined, then the sugar, oil, vanilla, egg, the flour and baking soda. (mix in each one well, then another one.) Preheat the oven to 190C. Shape the dough into 2.5cm-diameter balls and lightly coat with the powdered sugar. Place the balls on the baking sheet covered with waxed paper, leaving at least 1cm between them. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are set. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool completely. Makes about 30 cookies.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Saturday, February 22, 2003
cross-country skiing
Not till I went skiing did I really understand why the finns would choose "the blue of our lakes and the white snow of our winters" as their national colour symbol. That is,
there is really lots of snow in Finland.
(haha "what?" you may curse me.)
I thought of the day I went to Kr闤ler-M�ller Museum with Yin and HonKwan. We had to ride the bicycle from the parking lot. Their back figures, Yin's black jacket and Honkwan's red jecket, impressed me a lot. Yes i'm always more like an observer than participant....
Where, before me, are the ages that have gone?
And where, behind me, are the coming generations?
I think of heaven and earth, without limit, without end,
And I am all alone and my tears fall down.
Later on, with my awkward practice, my mind came up with lots of queer thoughts, verse, songs, words with the secretion of morphine of brain: progress, practice makes better, those characters in wu-xia, challenge, competition, stimulation, perseverance, never give up, ecstasy, insanity... When reached two roads diverged to the woods, one was going forward, one seemed to go back... ahh i thought of the poet regreted the road not taken. But,
es geht kein Weg zur�ck.
The way with the same direction to go back somehow seemed longer and depressing to me. To some unknown neverending-like destination attracts me more. But i fell down again and again. I couldn't stand up and went up the small slope to either the two roads. Fortunately two angels stopped and taught me how to conquer the obstacles before me.
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
(Yes, 'n' how many miles must I go on
that I can see the final destination?)
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.
At last i was excessively tired, utterly exhausted. I began to wonder everything has its two sides. Exercise is interesting, yet could be weary, i mean boring. My hands and legs couldn't help trembling. Only the will lasted. Suddenly the line came to me,
We should try to extend our limits and be a step closer to the infinite.
Finally i finished this 10km journey and arrived back to the visitor's centre. ah!

starry night
i couldn't find the moon tonight, but those dazzling diamonds on the black velvet reminded me the milky way i saw on Green Island, a small island south east to main Taiwan island.
The last resplendent morning star
heralded the coming of the sun on high
No mist or shadow dared to mar
the sheer perfection of the cloudless sky
from where a gentle breeze would blow
caressing the face down below
as if to murmur into the heart's recesses
Life is sweet and...
Life is sweet

talk with mai
that is, i really like talking with her. always inspires me a lot.

"airport. it fascinates me. i always try and insist to see good friends off in the airport, although sometimes they would say it's not necessary, but it means something to me. when i was about 4, my father went working in Saudi Arabia for 1 or 2 years i can't remember exactly now. i always remember the scene seeing him off in the airport, the big plastic seat of the airport. the yellow light. the dress of my mom. the glasses my father was wearing. however i didnt know much what was happening at that time though..."

"and i always remember the scene i said farewell to a japanese friend Nori, on Yamamoto Line of Tokyo's local train. she got off in one station, me still on the car. actually i didnt feel so strong at that time, when the door closed, she standing on the flatform, smiling and waving at me. the train went on, while i sitting there, felt kinda lost, dunno where i'm going to... but now whenever i think of that, it hits me hard. though i seem to learn more how to deal with farewell. eternity, for me just a day would be sufficient."

"i guess we tend to forget those hard times of our lives. i can't exactly remember the pain i suffered from the coldness under -20C just one month ago. but we do remember those beautiful days, don't we?"

"those new developments of the technology are amazing to me, really. the desire to explore the unknown. the hope to have a better life. the creativity, the curiosity. but sometimes i'm so scared of human's ambition and hubris that they want to challenge the nature, to control everything, to change the world..."

Friday, February 21, 2003
sleep problem
completely disorder. diurnal lethargy. nocturnal insomnia. exhausting and depressing. wake up around noon or even in the afternoon with chagrin that i wasted another beautiful day. at the "normal" bedtime the unsuccessfully attemp trying to fall asleep makes me feel so anxious and helpless. ah.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Please, don't ask me how I am, unless...
indeed, sometimes i'm really scared of being asked the question "how are you?"...
and the human relationship is really complicated, if you ask me...
so as the mentality problem. why do you become obsessed with people you don't really like that much?

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
a daily walk tour of downtown helsinki
missed the chance again to ski. i mistook the
Kamppi bus station as Kamppi metro station. so when i got there and called Juliette, they're already leaving on bus. anyway maybe it's God's voice, that i havent recovered from my cold, i should take rest...

so i strolled around the centre this afternoon. wow it's so warm today. i felt so hot with my pullover, muffler and coat. but it's quite windy. i just took off my gloves. first i walked along Annankatu (Anna Street) and thought of my favourite taiwanese writer Chu Tian-Hsin's description about her walk along the alleys and lanes of Taipei or Kyoto. that area is really nice. i should spend some more time exploring it, when it gets warmer and there's no these annoying slippery ice on the ground... finally i ended at Tokyo-kan and checked the food there. i seem to get used to Euro or the price or what. ahh the stuffs there are so expensive!!!

then i went to a very big record shop on Mannerheimintie (Mannerheim Avenue). finally i found the cd's of Brad Mehldau, but it's so expensive here... then i wandered somewhere like Pohjoisesplanadi (North Esplanade) or Aleksanterinkatu (Alexander Street, i bet i've walked along on it dozen times today.) what a pity i couldnt find anyone to see the sunset from Ateljee bar, atop the Sokos Hotel Torni (means tower), where Rosanna took me last Saturday and the nightfall view there was fabulous! and Helsinki seems more lovely when seeing it from somewhere high above...

somehow i really wanted to see the finnish movie "Mies Vailla Menneisyytt� " (the Man without a Past) but too bad it doesn't have English subtitle in theatre, so i planned to see another film "Frida" but there's still about 2.5 hours to wait. so i had some bite at some clean well-lighted place like, McDonald's, and finally started to write to Sawako, my host sister in Tokyo. i felt so sorry that i got her christmas card in december but didnt write or reply her at that seasonal greeting time. but i couldnt help it...

ok you may wonder why i'm so talkative or got the nerve to murmur all these tedious, boring things today. it's really amazing, as you never know what would happen in your life or in your silly mind... i felt the passion for life come back to me again, after this long depressing hibernation or rather say, getting lost in really nowhere. and i realized now how precious and blessed you got some motivation to support you go forward and move on your life...

...i decided to take the entrance exam for graduate school or our ministry of foreign affairs next year. since i'm really and only good at exam... Jesus, that's pathetic!!!!!

Sunday, February 16, 2003
what a moonlight
got really beautiful moon here. can you believe that, last night i was awaken by the moonlight. at first i thought it's some street light. but it's so clear, bright, and got some distinct coldness that only belongs to the moon. so i got up to check, somehow i couldnt see it when standing by the window. only could catch a glimpse with the angle when lying on the bed. what a coincidence, actually. i had been just thinking that how long had i not seen the moon... and it reminded me of the chinese classic poem,
Before my bed, the moonlight shines.
Could it be the frost, covering the ground?
I raise my head, look at the bright moon.
I set back, and think of my home land.
and today we got a sunny yet chilly day. but on the bus to the centre, me and rosanna were so delighted at the bright white shining sunshine which we saw in September and since then haven't seen for a long time. sometimes life is simple. but here is the question: you would want a very sunny bright cheerful but freezing chilly day, or rather a gloomy yet not so cold day??

Saturday, February 15, 2003
too stupid to be president
so i celebrated my 22th v-day without valentine with watching my new-arrived expensive dvd's all night at my room, however, there seems some problem playing Yiyi on my dvd-rom... ahh, i really really really wanted to see it >_<

btw got the title link from rosanna. quite sarcastic. but jesus, almost fainted with that "anti-peace anthem"... heey man, that's not so funny. kinda blasphemy to my Lennon, i'm telling ya. anyway there gonna be an anti-war manifestation in Helsinki as well. i hope i can get up early enough for that...

Friday, February 14, 2003

Thursday, February 13, 2003
pic of Tallinn
finally i put the pics of tallinn successfully.
>>click here to see the pics

btw i'm really curious at this pic

dunno why i didnt check what kind of shop or restaurant it is. it would be one of the biggest reason that attracts me to visit Tallinn again in the summer.

thinking of some change...
thanks to swallowa's suggestion, got some new goal for current backwater-like life. she asked me to write some biweekly with photos about my life in Finland, and gave me some examples of her friend who is studying in London. at first she introduced about her school, London, her dorm and flatmates, etc, later some activities or her travelogues, even about her cooking or shopping. ahh i think i can start writing my momoir then. sounds really interesting!!

another farewell
mai is going back to taiwan in 7 hours. just came back from her flat. still decided to see her off in the airport later. dunno... really strange feeling, although we'll probably see each other again in taiwan (ahh, i'm going back soon too, which hits me very hard now...) i wonder how the rest of my life in finland will be, without a friend as her. would be quite lonely then... and those moments shared with her and david wouldn't come any more... ahh it's so unbearable to think of that. anyway, c'est la vie. that's life.

Monday, February 10, 2003
back from Tallinn
oh Tallinn, lovely Tallinn, how i adored you.

many of my friends have been there, the capital of Estonia, since it's so near (just 3.5 hours by ferry) and convenient (most citizens dont need visa), and almost everyone of them told me how nice it is and they really loved it.

now i'm telling you the same answer. i was so fascinated by the old town, which has been well preserved for its medieval milieu and structure. when entering a church, i was amazed and imagined that hundred years ago how people were dressing and doing here. and i, was standing in the same place as them...

and needless to say we're enjoying having some great meal or wandering from one cafe to another. and surprisingly bumped into my french flatmate and her bf at Rossini cafe!!! David kept joking me that i was as suddenly turning into another person that screamed so high and cheerfully. (i was still kind of sick, so i wasnt very active...) but it's really great to meet friends somewhere else, isnt it??

Saturday, February 08, 2003
off to Tallinn
oh yeah!!!! finally we got the visa to Estonia. hey guys, you should thank me. where else could you find such a patient patient as me to do all these things for you?! met you guys to collect the passports in the early morning; went to the ferry company to get the ferry and hotel reservation certificate; bought the health insurance; went to the Estonia Embassy to apply for the visa (including filling out those application forms); went to the embassy to pick the visas but only got an uncertain answer to call back at 3pm; called again and again but still not ready; rushed there 5 minutes before it's closed and finally they're done!!!! pfff, why we got so much trouble... it's tough to be a taiwanese, i'm telling ya!

Thursday, February 06, 2003
getting better
weird, weird. after crying so hard last night, my cold turned much better now. just still cough a bit. but just as mai said, being in a foreign country, you've to train yourself to be very strong, especially mentally...

when i'm sick, i'd miss my parents desperately.

especially when lying on the bed at night, i feel so helpless and lonely. there is no one i can ask for help whenever i want, although my friends here also help and care me a lot. no one would take me to the hospital in the late night or early in the morning, and come to watch me whether i sleep well or not. no one i can totally trust or rely as them. no one that really cares about and thinks of me as them. no one that would devote themselves to me as them. no one would be just like the constellation that always waiting there for me...

oh... mom and dad, how i love you and miss you now...

but i've to grow up and face the world and my life by myself. so hold me tears, and go back to bed then.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003
something to remember
i've been sick since last weekend, that's why no much update here. better now. really hope i can get well soon, coz i'm going to Tallinn (the capital of Estonia) this weekend!

let me make a brief review of the lost week (frankly speaking, nothing special, coz i've been almost sleeping taking rest at home...)

last saturday the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office held a banquet for celebrating the coming of the Goat Year. nice to see old friends and meet new people, especially the three exchange high school students. am i a too good kid or what? really surprised to hear many finns begin to have party, drink or smoke in high school, as well as to study many other foreign languages, needless to say their english is already terrific. i wonder whether would these three kids encounter more and stronger culture shock than me?

finished reading:
Soul Mountain ("Lingshan"), by Gao Xingjian
Think of my village brothers, by Chu Tian-Hsin
[both in chinese]

Tooi no Taiko (the Drum of the Far Away), by Haruki Murakami, his diary and travelogue when he was in Italy and Greece during 1986-89, when he wrote "Norweign Wood" and "Dance, Dance, Dance."

listeing to:
Missundaztood, Pink
Disintegration, the Cure
Something to Remember, Madonna

Hikaru no Go, a japanese cartoon

Tuesday, February 04, 2003
Japanese Facemarks (smileys)
add more fun to your internet and SMS life.

wordsworth's garden
for oft when on my couch I lie
in vacant or in pensive mood,
they flash upon that inward eye
which is the bliss of solitude;
and then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils.

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