Wednesday, August 19, 2009


FF received a call when we were on our way home from dinner tonight. From the animated tone of his voice, I could tell that the party on the other line, whom I only knew then as Terry, was a dear friend of his. It didn't take longer than 30 seconds for the call to turn into the same ones I've heard the past two weeks-the goodbye call. The call from a friend to announce the eventual return to their homes. The inescapable departure from his life and his inevitable sadness. FF says he has been here long enough to see friends coming and going. Indeed, in the course of two weeks that we've been together, this is the third goodbye-call he has received. Amd each time, he would shake his head and let out a deep sigh. "你看,这就是我的人生.一个个好朋友就这样离开了..."

Terry's flight home to Shenzhen is bound at 7am tomorrow. Instantly pushing aside the pile of work and assignment that is due tomorrow, FF urged his friend to have a drink.

Terry is one the first people FF befriended when he first arrived in Melbourne. At the ripe age of 17, they attended language school and then high school together. Yet, their contacts with each other ceased as they went on to university. Soon, meeting each other was an annual affair, one that FF regreted so much.

We stood waiting for Terry at the corner of Lt. Bourke Street. I was looking out intently for a stranger, a person who i only know was tall and big. We waited in silence for more than 10 minutes, like siblings waiting to be reunited with their long lost family. "他再不来,我就要哭了呢..." FF muttered, his voice soaked in worry and impatience.

Terry appeared at last. Tall and big as described. Indeed, as if being reunited with his long lost brother, FF burst into tears, his words stumbling over his sobs. "你为什么又要回去啦...?" Clumsy words, falling over fresh flow of tears. Then he turns and introduces me. "至少他临走前可以见一见你, 这样也算了我的心愿", he said before.

We ducked into a bar and I watched and listened to their stories, as they gulp 3 shots of whiskey. FF still could not control his tears, especially when they started to reminisce about their high school days.

I excused myself to meet up with Jess and the rest, leaving them to procede to their man-to-man talk. But as I left the bar, the eulogy I had a month ago, when I thought that FF had left, came back.

Sometimes I think life is a bus ride. We sit and watch as passengers hop and off. Some passengers stay longer than others, while some get off after one stop. it does not matter how long their journey takes. What matters is that you've brought them to the destination they were meant to reach, within the allocared time. And my dear, I think that you did so with heartfelt earnestness and sincerity that is hardly ever found anymore.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Musings 2- On You.

FF is feeling stressed with his project lately. His shoulders seem to be heavier now, I can feel it. Hence, on most of our outings lately, I am the chatty one, trying my very best to lift his mood up, at least for that entire hour.

Although most new relationship ought to be buzzing and exhilarating, I somehow appreciate the silence between us more. The knowing silence, punctuated by my sometimes silly, excessive and irrelevant comment on nothings. He would laugh, pat my head or pull me closer, then draw back into his thoughts on his final semester project. Then i too would retreat into that knowing silence, being grateful that such a calming silence exists.

Musings 1 - On Uni

It is 0130am now and Jessie and I have just returned from Yan, Tsu-Mei and Eng Kiat's place just across the street to celebrate Yan's 26th birthday.

My mind is fully awake now as I brew myself a cup of double-bag green tea. I'm in the middle of collating the proposal for our Radio Program for Broadcast Media which will be pitched tomorrow. After a few brainstorming sessions and toying around with a few potential story leads, we decided to do a program on the recollection of two Macedonian's childhood memory. I should point out first that the theme for both our TV and Radio program is Growth. The radio program is a two-people collaboration and my assigned teammate-Megan, is a second generation Macedonian migrant. We decided to interview her father and great-aunt about their lives growing up in post-war Macedonia and as a migrant in Australia. It would be mostly recorded on location to create a sense of intimacy and closeness with our listeners. I think our concept would suit ABC Radio National 360 (our host program) because a lot of their past programs focus a lot on human interest stories. I confess, I had qualms about this project but now I feel much more positive and excited about it. Mm... Can't wait till production begins, though I hope we'd be able to get past the pitch and proposal first. I really hope to produce something substantial and professional.

Mass Media in Asia is so far my favourite course as it is one of the only research-based courses I have this semester. Besides, so far the heated debate about the viable development of an Asian-modeled journalism, its form and functions is rather interesting. This week however, we're moving on to applying normative media theories in Asia, again questioning its suffiency in analyzing Asian media. What most scholars like Altschull suggest is a transitional media theory that can change and evolve based on different socio-political and economical circumstances. I agree to that but with only one reservation- and that is a transitional media theory might be too volatile and temporal. The ability of relatively small and developing countries to cope and constantly update themselves based on this theory is hence questionable.

Communication and Social Relations has been getting a lot of bad reviews among my peers but I think it is quite alright. If you took time and pondered on each week's topic-it can be quite interesting. Take for example, this week's criticism of the ANZAC memorial. ANZAC stands for Australia-New Zealand Army Corps. The ANZAC day is is arguably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The ANZAC 'legend' is a prominent feature of Australian identity as it sees Australia coming of age as a nation. However, i too agree with some analysts that much of the excitement surrounding the ANZAC legend is overhyped. I see it as the identity of colonial Australia because the absence of the Aborigines and Women is much too strong. Furthermore, the notion that Australia has 'come of age' due to the war is very much an angle viewed through the Imperialist's lense.

There you go, my uni life in a nutshell.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I once criticized a loved one for being overly cynical and for closing up his heart after previous heartbreaks. Back then, I thought that we ought to be able to pick ourselves up after each setback in a nick of time, ought to remain positive, ought to leave the past behind and treat each new relationship as if there were none before. Now i know that that is anything but an idealistic approach to love and life. Amiable, but idealistic. The truth is, after having your hand burnt once, twice by fire, your instincts prevents you from the possibility making the same mistake again. When i once floated into a relationship, I now take hesitant, apprehensive baby steps; when i once thought myself to be brave, i now find myself timid; when I once had high expectations of myself and the person I loved, I now learnt how to come with nothing, yet go away with much; when I was once complete yet empty, I am now fractured yet more wholesome; when i was thought i have to give everything, i'm now sure i don't have everything to give. I think the thing about growing up is not so much about realising your strengths, but rather, about realising your weaknesses and learning how to protect yourself from the threats of such weaknesses. Growing up is really not about being more certain. I think the older you get, the more you are aware of the trappings of life, the more you know that life gets the best of you, even when you think you're guarded-the more you are uncertain. Then again, uncertainty leads to curiosity, curiosity leads to discovery, and what if life without discovery?

Love, likewise, becomes more and more uncertain as you grow. But such uncertainty forces you to take a chance, it forces you to take a leap of faith, and isn't life itself a bet?