Thursday, October 30, 2008

subscription day

one by one, the essays are done. and one by one, the new ones will come. from the pages of international trade and finance - a subject which tries to convince you that capitalism will prevail; to international law with its never ending cases and chapters to memorize - believe me they want you to remember numbers of those years and articles when you can even hardly memorise your own mobile number; to the mountain high of politics where the ghosts of great philosophers reside and continue their debate; and finally to diplomatic practice classes where lessons from the able ambassadors unite.

it seems to take enourmous amount of hours for me to compose those sentences into a meaningful paragraph. let alone a page. but the lesson is perhaps there. like any labour that you are committed to do. if you stick to a labour long enough, it will eventually yield. even though long enough is probably way beyond any reasonable estimation of what long enough might be.

Monday, October 27, 2008


i shall write now of bubbles...

because i see lines of bubbles in the water which i poured into my glass, even though it was not the sparkling of the kind.
it was tap water.

so i think and observe that among them some are smaller, clustered; and others are bigger, scattered. like my mind. sometimes.

like yours too, perhaps. when you are lonelier than billy joel.

maybe, if i have a microscopic vision, plus some teaspoons of hallucination, i can see a tiny universe in each balloon that is trapped in there.

but i was just too thirsty to hallucinate.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

wellington square park

as often happen in the days of our life, time goes in a speed that somehow seems too fast leaving no moment for us to reconcile with it.

however there are but some few captured moments, which we reflect as our most memorable impression of such times.

now, the town is in the embrace of the autumn. the season squeezes it tightly, letting all the possible colours to come out in forms of falling leaves, decorating the streets sophisticatedly.

soon, winter will unveil its truest face, and the wind and the rain will cover much of the darkest days of this shire.

but the rejoice of our hearts, with the companion of the light-hearted friends, free thinkers of all over the land and various continents, and the warmth of our long black gowns, surely, all will be more bearable.

as it was told, it has been so for hundreds of years. and it will be the same again this time: six years since the day of the first snow.

and i feel, to borrow a quote from dylan, as if i was so much older then, six years ago, and that i’m younger than that now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


many of the things they practice today here in england, and here in oxford more specifically, are based on tradition.

they conserve their way of doing things very rigoriously. and this kind of routine is not regulated by law. it is just a rule of the game that everyone must follow. from one generation to the next they pass the tradition steadily. and everyone i know is quite happy to embark this way of tradition willingly.

if one asks the logic explanation for, say, why should we wear dark suit, plain-white shirt, white bow tie, black shoes and black gown for matriculation, the answer is of course because they have been doing it for hundreds of years. so why change now? they said.


now, imagine a professor saying this to you:

"please try to be on time, because the dinner has never been late for four hundred years."

and this is a sample picture of how the dinner table looks like. i took this picture in one of the oldest college, called "new college", dated back from around the 13th century.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

to the four corners of the earth

this picture was taken somewhere on the road from london to oxford, last friday. now i am on my fourth day here in oxfordshire, the region in england where oxford is located. matthew arnold, a poet from the 19th century, beautifully described oxford in his poem thyrsis as a sweet city of dreaming spires, one that needs not june for its beauty's heightening.

i spent my first days wandering around the old town and trying to provide myself a proper basic knowledge for survival.

i am grateful and humbled to be here, especially that it is autumn. you can walk the road and feel that crispness in the air and the smell of fall. also, i always find the falling leaves scattered around my window pane each time i return to my room. that is a true sign of nature's cycle of course.

the place where i reside now is a victorian house. i occupy half of its lower ground. so low that when you sit on the chair looking at the window, you could see only the legs of the passerby. not their faces. it's more as a sanctuary, especially because phone signal can hardly touch me down here. hohoo...

but i am content. you see this house now. well, it's not exactly the one where i live. but i like it. it has a red dress to fit the season's fashion. in autumn, it is quite fashionable for houses to "wear" that maroon gown. soon, it will turn yellow, before the fresh of green come again together with spring.

i name this picture "call me autumn".

as of the place where i live, it is a hall provided by my college st. cross. i have already had some ideas to explore about this college. but first, let me share with you that i feel at home here. the college has a motto that goes like this "ad quattour cardines mundi", which means "to the four corners of the earth". sounds adventurous to me. hoho...