Archive for March, 2013

PostHeaderIcon I Could Have…

29 March 2013

A day to remember. Un jour à marquer d’une pierre blanche.

The last day of Biro Tatanegara. The day of our dreaded meeting with MARA.

A jovial, light-hearted morning. Then a bleak, sombre evening.

It is a day of polarised emotions, of confused sentiments.

I’m relieved and delighted, yet something holds me back from smiling.

It is, indeed, upsetting.

At the end of the day, I no longer know what to feel. Je ne sais plus quoi ressentir.

It could have been a whole different story. Perhaps, a merrier, gay one.

I should have done something. I should have done more.

Maybe I could have saved them. By doing more than what I did.

Maybe I could have, just maybe.

Mais un homme devient vieux quand ses regrets prennent la place de ses rêves.

Just move on, nothing else. Keep on dreaming and striving to achieve your goal.

And I am sorry, for I should have done more. I should have at least tried. I could have, in more than a way, prevented all of this from happening.

May your best days be ahead of you. That is all I can say.

Bon courage à vous tous. 

PostHeaderIcon International Cities of Peace: Hiroshima

Three months later, allons-y.

Hiroshima, Japan.
16 December 2012.
Day 2. 

Today’s destination: Hiroshima – A city most known as one of the epicenters of the infamous atomic bombings in Japan during the World War II which effectively brought an end to the six-year conflict.

  • Waiting for the train at Shin-Osaka Station seems harmless for me as I occupy myself observing the surroundings, observing Japan. It is my first daylight in the Land of the Rising Sun after all.

  • And of course, there’s another first today. My first ever Shinkansen ride – the prominent, world-famous bullet train which, until now, I have only seen in textbooks and movies.

About twenty minutes later, our train arrives and off we go. Our initial plan was to visit Himeji Castle (one of Japan’s first World Heritage Sites) in Himeji, but we have decided not to proceed with it because the castle is now undergoing restoration work that is expected to last until the end of March 2015. The interior is either completely or partially closed to tourists, as well as a few other areas.

  • The train makes a brief stop at Himeji Station.

  • One half of the historic castle can be seen from our seats. Definitely not the best view of it.

  • Having arrived in Hiroshima, we are left to lug our luggage while looking for our hotel in the city.

Once we have found our hotel, we leave our bags and head towards Hiroshima Peace Memorial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that serves as a tribute to those who lost their lives after the detonation of Little Boy almost seventy years ago. This whole Hiroshima thing eventually hits me hard as I am reminded of the cold, hard truths of the terrible things a human being is capable of doing.

  • The A-Bomb Dome, near which the first atomic bomb exploded, is the only building left from the tragic episode, albeit a skeletal one.

  • Another angle of the structure, formerly known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall before the bombing.

  • Memorial Tower to the Mobilised Students serves as a memorial to over 6000 students who died from the atomic bomb.

  • Another view of the A-Bomb Dome from the other side of Motoyasu River.

  • Pih and Kona rest at the side of the footpath. Taking a breather on a cool day is in fact a pleasant thing to do.

  • A man looks on in front of  the Memorial Cenotaph.

  • Christmas Carols are being played not far from the cenotaph.

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: A small-scaled model of the city before the atomic bombing.

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: A combo of pictures puts the destruction of the city into perspective.

  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: A model of the famous A-Bomb Dome.

  • Hiroshima Memorial Museum: The big, red sphere indicates the hypocenter of Little Boy, roughly 200 meters from the ground.

While we are in the museum bringing ourselves closer to the events that took place before, during and after the bombing of the city, people begin to gather in large numbers outside to celebrate the local team Sanfrecce Hiroshima‘s inaugural J. League Division 1 title. We are obviously oblivious to what’s happening outside the museum, thus the sight of a sea of people surprises us to no end.

  • The team celebrate on a couple of open top buses, joined by probably thousands of the locals.

As the day draws to a close, and after having witnessed and perhaps joined as well the celebration of a football club that we had never heard of, we head back to our hotel, walking together with the Sanfrecce Hiroshima fans.

For more pictures and a more descriptive commentary on the visit, head over to my mom’s blog:

Getting to Hiroshima
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Sanfrecce FC & Hondori Market


PostHeaderIcon It’s Carrick, You Know

I’m not usually a fan of football chants, but I have to admit I kinda like this one for Michael Carrick, if I’m not mistaken premiered on United’s visit to Loftus Road not a long time ago.

“It’s hard to believe it’s not Scholes, it’s Carrick, you know”

…supposedly to the tune of Pilot’s Magic.

Carrick, apparently, is no longer an unsung hero of the Red Devils. And I personally believe so too. He’s our new midfield maestro.