All life is encounter

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14th February 2017

Back in 199x, I met Yang Wei Wei in Shenyang. If I had not met her and her family, I would probably never be interested in China, their language and their culture and …. I would never had the dream of working in China …. and ….  I would be never here in Hong Kong!

My mom asked me whether I still have contact with her. And I answered that I have lost the contact with her. My father asked me as well and I denied.

Last night my Chinese teacher asked me “What if you meet Wei Wei again, what would you do? What would you say, when she stands in front of her?” …. I could not answered immediately, instead my eyes filled with tears and I started to cry.  That moment when I cried, I AWARE that I was the one killed any possibilities to find her and family again because I am afraid of the language barrier, rejection, fear and disappointment. Finally I answered “I would cry. I would hug her. And then thank you her and tell her how our faith changed and influenced my life!”

In fact, I have nothing too loose, except some tears. The language barrier is not a problem any more, because my Chinese has improved!

I am now gathering information, I am determined to write a letter in Chinese to “my” old high-school in Shenyang. They might have some further information. I will keep you update!

 

Winter clothes distribution for refugees in HKG

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2015-12-23

Lei Hou RefugeesThe topic “refugees” can be seen nearly every day on TV in Europe. BUT did you actually know that there refugees in HKG? There ARE around 10.000 refugees living in HKG!!!! Where? How is their living condition here? From where? How does the government support them? All these I have not known before, and surprisingly I was not the only!  Therefore, in November I organised together with “HairAid.Hk” –  a newly founded organisation in HKG cutting hairs for people in needs – an awareness and fund raising event for refugees in HKG. The event includes a lot of activities and I was particularly responsible for the flea market. Most of the unsold goods (clothes, shoes, toys, kitchen tools etc.)  have been donated directly to our beneficiary “Christian Action” (= CA) afterwards.

After this event, I was wondering how and when those clothes would be distributed and asked CA for some photos. Due to privacy reasons and protect refugees’ identity, it was not possible to receive photos. Instead I have been invited to join the winter clothes distribution early December!  I took annual leave to join this meaningful event. I felt very excited!

The room was filled with clothes with wide range from for toddlers until adult’s fashion. Beside our donation CA had received a lot of other donations. Every refugee (=client) with a ticket could came in and take a clothes, he/she like. For free, and as many as they wanted within a limited time frame of 15 minutes.

Frankly speaking I was very surprised how reserved they are. They took what they really need and like. I asked one of them why s/he would not take more as it is for free, and the answer was very simple “Not enough space.”

This “scene” was very unusually for me. Imagine,at those crazy sales from luxury brands, are the people that generous? In that moment, people (including me) just focused on a great deal, to find something nice for the next cocktail party. I may use them only occasionally, or I do not have space, but I would still buy. I felt ashamed.

Winter Clothes DistributionTogether with this feeling in my heart, I was even eager to find what the client at the winter clothes distribution requested. Jacket in M size and in blue colour? -> OK, I will search with you. Long trousers for doing sports in bigger size? ->Sure, I will help you to find! You need this shirt in blue instead of pink?-> Let me check for you! It is not that easy, as each client only has 15 minutes time and the donated clothes are roughly tidied up only. The client’s “thank you” and “smile” afterwards are priceless. It made me nearly cry!

I found out that most of the clothes are in smaller size (asian size), there is a lack of “bigger” size for women. Next time, I will definitely donate my clothes to CA directly, instead of put them into the clothes collection boxes from other organisations.

It was such an meaningful and touching day! And it make me think a lot about my life, what do I really need or what I just want to own. If I had only one second time to flee from home, what would I take? What would you take?

Nobody is perfect

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8th May 2015

I used to have an image, which I have built by my own through those recent years. I believed that I am perfect or better say, I told myself being perfect and the best of the best. How I define myself as being perfect? Independent, no failures and mistakes, very detail-orientated, no weakness, can handle a lot of things by own, being strong or even pretending strong although I am weak. But the reality was different, I was not perfect, I did some mistakes and I was weak. Instead of allowing myself not being perfect, I spent a lot of effort to maintain my image to other outer world except few friends I was able to show my “real I”. As I became tired to keep this image, I withdrawn myself more and more from social gatherings. I became lonely. I became a nobody. Nobody is perfect. I often  blamed myself for failures and mistakes. Basically I did  feel pretty bad and lost my self-confidence, my motivation and even my passion of life. That makes me even more sad. I was caught in my own room in the past two years and I did not know/forget how to step out this room.

Well, talking about this and admitting my “Wanna be perfect” – image, I am stepping out of my cage. And there is light! There is hope! There are dreams! And there are my mom, my dad and my bro! My friends! Support! There is life. Passionate life! How could I miss them? How could I not seeing them?

The reason is simple: My wall of being perfect was simply too thick, that I was not able to recognize those! I was blended by my own image!

Knowing this, I do not want to be perfect any more. I am now ready to step out my room, cage and comfort zone! I am ready to remove my image step by step! That means to admit that I am weak, that I need sometimes help from family and friends. Simply being honest to myself, beloved ones and the society. Honesty is so real.  It is an amazing feeling. And this time I will keep it up!

Now, I do not want to be longer a nobody. Nobody is perfect, that’s true! I am now somebody (again)!

I am Nobu!

Welcome to my blog!

 

Review: My 2014

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This entry is almost a shame, because  this is my first and last entry of 2014!

One of my targets was writing regularly and post it to my blog. Well, this is not an excuse, but I WAS writing, just I did not post it to my blog… However, did you achieve all your targets of 2014?

As I am reviewing my 2014 currently, let me share with you some highlights:

JANUARY: I went back home to Germany and spent lovely time with my family and friends. This time I met my “old” friend Robert, who I met in HKG long time ago, in Belgium.

FEBRUARY: Although it was very cold, we continued praticising Taichi outside in the park. Well done!!

MARCH: My japanese friend Mit-chan, who I also met in HKG, got married! So happy for her!

APRIL: First time in my whole life I missed a flight! How? I have unexpectedly stuck  I stuck at the Chinese boarder!!! I have never ever seen such a crowded boarder during easter in China. Chinese people do not celebrate Easter at all!!

MAY: I have been invited to a casting of a very famous dating show in China after sucessful application, which includes an self introduction-essay. I have not invited to the show itself, but the whole procedure was very interesting and exciting. And all in Chinese! I am so proud of myself.

JUNE was a travelling month: I spent a wonderful amazing loooong weekend in Thailand. So relaxing and yummy food!!! One day later I flew to Shenyang to meet my dad there in order to go to Dandong together to attend my counsin’s wedding. Never ever thought to meet my dad in China one day! So happy!! Btw. Shenyang is a city full of memories. It is the first Chinese city I went in my 90’s. If I had not gone there, I would probably not be interested in Chineses culture that much and not be working in China and Hong Kong.

JULY was crazy, because I flew to Stockholm just for a weekend. Why? Well, a very good friend of mine – I met in HKG – got married there. And my mom came over!!! This year, I was able to see my parents more than one time!!!

AUGUST: Guess what happened..  I met my father again. And my brother. They were heading to Tibet and stayed in Beijing for few nights as a stop over. How can I not flew to Beijing to see them!!!

SEPTEMBER was my birthday month. I celebrated for a week with my friends!

In OCTOBER something horrible happened: The ceiling of the bathroom fell down. OMG!!!! Luckily nobody was hurted.

NOVEMBER was a busy month.

DECEMBER: First (and last entry for 2014)… and thank YOU beeing a loyal follower of my blog!

How was your 2014?

 

Thank you

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2013 / 07 / 03

最近通过了这次比较长的困难和难过的时间,因为朋友们和家人支持我,因为他们相信我,因为他们在我前,后,左,右边给我加油,所以我勇气回来了,决定再努力,能再”呼吸人生”。因朋友们和家人,我新人生的chapter刚刚开始了。
有这样的朋友,我是真很幸福的人的!!非常非常非常感谢他们!!

★〓★〓★

Earlier this year I decided to be brave towards my uncertain future. Ever since, my life was still an emotional jet coaster. It was terrible, I struggeled a lot.

Recently I was able to come over this tough time. Compared to other unhappy times, this was pretty long and very difficult.

Because of my friends and family’s support, because of their belief and because they are there for me, I was able to be brave again, ready to fight again and finally be able to enjoy life again. Because of my friends, my new chapter in life has just started (finally!)

I was and am lucky having such a great support around me. From my bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you them and appreciate their great help. Slowly, but safely I am on the right track now. Let’s have happy time together again!

I feel like a bit Hong Kongnese, when …

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2013 / 06 / 11

… I drink HOT water for any thirsty occasion.
… I eat INSTANT oatmeal with RED DATES and hot water for breakfast in order to NOURISH my BLOOD.
… I do OT, although I am NOT getting paid for it.
… I wear RUBBER HIGH HEELS during rainy days.
… I crazily play mahjong in a DOWN TOWN mahjong CLUB, although we are playing just for fun, not for money.
… I eat a warm pineapple bun with a huge THICK melting slice of BUTTER with a cup of  wanna-be-Mexican coffee or the waffle with thick layers of condense milk, butter, peanut butter, sugar and nuts for teatime. Or order a SIMPLE toast spread with blueberry jam.
… I sit in the NT-minibus, watching education TV on a bus and/not caring about the ringing alarm because the driver is driving more than the allowed 80km/h.
… I wear a green or pink MASK when I suffer from cough during office hours.
… I need to get a ticket first in order to get a table, because cannot do the reservation in advance. My longest time I have ever waited for was Ippudo in TST for almost 2 hours, 180 tables.
… I speak Chinglish.

What about you, when do you feel you are HKGnese? Please share me your thoughts!

NOTE: The order of the list is NOT based on priority.

The forgotten braveness

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2013 / 03 / 14

It has been quite long time I have not written any entry. Now I want to change it. It’s time for an entry.

I know life contains happy and unhappy moments. And I always believed in after a certain unhappy time, a happier time will follow. That’s why I thought I would be ok (please also refer to my entry in October). But one unhappy thing after the other have happened and kept pushing me to my limit of life power resources. In fact, I hate this condition. At the end I felt unhappy, tired, not motivated and extremely unsatisfied.

I asked myself again: What can I do?

My bro did know the answers “Basically there are two options, 1) face the problem or 2) run away from the problem. BOTH are wise. “I did not understand. Usually I face the problem and find a solution. Afterwards, I feel happy. From my point of view, 2) is an option only made by cowards. But my bro disagreed. He explained “Option 2) could be wise, if 1) is too dangerous.” 

There is one matter, which bothers me a lot and restricts my life ever since. It’s a pretty long story, so I try to keep it short. I have been a victim of crime. Well, definition of crime varies. It would be a crime in my home country, but not here. However, the fact is that my offender is still somewhere and s/he will be back if there is an opportunity. Hence, in sake of my own safety I chose option 2). Although I got support from my good friends and my brother, I could not help myself to think I am a coward. At the same time, I felt like a refugee.

Thanks to my friend, who offered me a “refuge”, I had a lot of time to relax and think. And I suddenly realized that I might forget something important during my “escape” and fear: If I keep escaping my rest of my life, I would be definitely eternally unhappy. Do I really want to be like that?  Life is too short for it! A refugee is not a refugee for his/her whole life, isn’t it? S/he will settle down and start an alternative life. I may try the same. How could I forget the braveness to look into the future? Firstly I need to accept my situation (I guess I have not done yet fully) and secondly I need to find another happiness. For a period of time I was thinking what makes me happy: Eating, travelling, drawing…  In this frame I would like to try something new. A new challenge. Therefore I decided to learn material art. And I am also thinking about to learn one more activity like sewing, Chinese Calligraphy or Chinese painting. Currently I am checking schools and tuitions fees. And I am going to change my living condition as well.

I am not sure whether this will lead to happiness, but it’s worth to try. I am motivated.

Cheong Lok [Cantonese]

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2012 / 07 / 09

Dearest Cheong Lok Mansion

We have been together for one year and three months in total. Indeed you gave me a long happiness (=Cheong Lok). Actually, you were my longest happiness in Hung Hom ever. My dear, I really appreciate it. I loved you so much. Thank you for giving me such a long happiness.

Our happiness started last spring. I can remember how happy I was during the first days and weeks. With you together, my life started to bloom more than ever. Because of your great location, it was very convenient to go to supermarket, bus stop, laundry shop, MTR station, restaurants. Everything was within 10 minutes walking distance.
You had an elevator and security guards at the entrance, as well as CCTV. Even when I came late home, I felt safe to go back home.
Further on you had regular check up for elevator and water pipe lines. People around you DID know you are aging and take good care of you. Therefore I also DID know I would be steady with you.
You had a great clean corridor on each floor, one side was open and it was very comfortable to feel the wind, which often carried the delicious cooking smell of my neighbors. During the weekend children were running and playing and old people were exercising there. Sometimes I could even hear some students playing trumpet, piano or guitar. Very often people were laughing and giggling. Sometimes somebody was crying. It was so lively!
Because of you I met new friends and you also gave me a lot of opportunities to practice my Putonghua with the other residents, who are students from Mainland China.
The flat was nice as well. It was the greatest flat I ever had since I am here. It had a proper kitchen and I started to love cooking again. Nearly every day I cooked and I am pretty sure you could smell my nice lunch box menu. Did you like it? I had a newly-renovated-from-the-kitchen-separated-bathroom, which is rare in old buildings, but you had it! Amazing! I started to enjoy taking shower again. The living room was huge and there were plenty of space to invite my friends for happy gatherings! My room was small, only 4m2, but pretty. Just lying on the bed was nice, because the room has so many windows to let in the fresh cool wind and warm bright sunshine almost every day. Although I was living in the city, I did not feel like that as I was able to see a lot of green big trees on a hill from my windows.

My dear, I loved you so much. Actually, I still love you! Therefore my decision to leave you was so difficult. I hope you understand and will not be angry with me.

The last months we faced huge problems. Although we tried to find a solution together, tried to make the best from our situation, it is now out of control. I reached my limits. I did what I can do for us. I also know that you tried to protect me as much as you can. I really appreciate it, thank you so much. However, you need serious and professional help. As long I am together with you, the landlord is not willing to repair the serious water leakage you are suffering from. Due to the high humidity in our home, now you are even suffering from some infection as mould, wetness and insects.

My new home will be nearby. We cannot see us each other as often as before, but we are connected. Not only connected by the happiness we experienced in the last months, but also by the sunset. From my home I can see the same sunset as you do.

My dear Cheong Lok Mansion, thank you so much for our happiness. I really had a great time. Hopefully, the landlord will hire good workers, so you will be repaired very soon. Hopefully the next tenant(s) will be happy with you as well. Please let people take good care of you.

In love,
Nobu

How I prepared myself for HSK 3 and 4 exams

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2012 / 06 / 01

Actually, I was learning vocabularies for long time already (nearly every day a little bit for about one year), so I was not that worried about them. This is something I can always do as e.g. while waiting for the bus or by walking to office (this is dangerous, please do not do!!!). After doing the mock up sample I was much more worried about my listening comprehension as in this section I got poor scores only. Therefore I consulted my friend Daisy, who is also a Putonghua teacher. She gave me the hint that my listening comprehension is bad because of my not accurate pronunciation. Now, I DID know what to do: I definitely needed to improve my pronunciation AND my listening comprehension IN SHORT TIME. There was not so much time left any more and I definitely did not want to postpone my exams. Those exams are my challenges and passing them are my targets of this year!

I had a plan, but I was not sure whether it will work or not. BUT I wanted to try. So, today I would like to share you how I prepared myself for the HSK exams (HSK3 and HSK4).

The fact is in my daily life English and Cantonese are over-weighting. In order to get to use much more to Mandarin Chinese language thinking and feeling I had completely eliminated those languages until the exam date, as well as my native languages Japanese and German. 4 weeks before the appointed date I literally immersed myself in Chinese language that I had the feeling I was living in Mainland China and not in Hong Kong. I was listening active and passive to Chinese every hour, every minute and every second, even when I was sleeping or cooking. I exposed myself 24 hours to Chinese music, movies and dramas. Every day I was reading a Chinese short novel or listening to this short novel CD.
At the beginning it was difficult to change my daily habit. I forced myself to speak Mandarin Chinese only at the working place with my colleague, on the street, with my friends and even with myself! But after some time, it became naturally and communicating turned out not to be that struggling. I was much more relaxed and confident! In order not get the temptation to speak in other languages, I did not meet my foreigner friends during this period and I also did not eat any German or Japanese food. I got totally crazy and went to extremes.

2 weeks before the appointed date I did a mock up test  every second day. And wow! I was surprised my listening comprehension DID improved. Just by listening once, I was able to understand! The other every second day I reviewed not only my mistakes in those mock up samples, but also some common HSK grammar sections.

In fact, I found out that this kind of learning is the best way to learn and improve my Chinese. This learning method did not only help me to improve my “HSK skills”, but also my general Chinese skills. Since ever, I started to expose myself to more and more Chinese every day. Surely not that extreme as I did in frame of the HSK preparation, but still immerse into the learning language is a great support especially living in the country, where Mandarin Chinese is not the native language.

P.S. I passed both HSK exams and I am so happy that I cried a lot!

HSK – Ready for a challenge?

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2012 / 04 / 19

Have you ever heard of the HSK* (汉语水平考试/ hàn yǔ shuǐ píng kǎo shì)?

Well, it is an internationally recognized Chinese Proficiency Test for non-native-speakers learning Chinese. I always wanted to pass the HSK test. But previously I failed and also probably ran away because of lack of confidence and fear of failing again. I always targeted the greatest score in order to be eligible to apply for a scholarship at one of the universities in Mainland China. This gave me a lot of pressure. At that time I strongly believed that pressure would turn into motivation, but (in my case) it did not. Instead, that huge pressure led me to failure, disappointment and loose of my Chinese confidence – totally opposite of my target! Probably this is also the reason why I could not get so good scores in school; I always wanted to be perfect and the best.

After I have started  to chang my view of my dream last year, I have realized my only biggest enemy is myself. Actually, there is no need to be the best. Besides the scholarship, there are OTHER MANY opportunities going to Mainland China (e.g. traveling) or be exposed to Mainland China’s influence (e.g. appending job in HKG). Actually, there is no need to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. Actually, Nobu, you have already done a great own progress in your Chinese speaking skills. Actually, you CAN be more confident.

That’s so true! Now, I felt ready, ready for my next challenge. I decided to challenge myself in order to have new opportunities: I registered for two HSK exams. A new challenge was waiting for me, not only for my Chinese skills but also for myself. And again, I decided not to give up. No matter how difficult it would be.

SOMETHING was going to begin, but at that time I did not know yet…

*For more information about HSK and its registration, please click here.

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