dimanche, janvier 28, 2007

Thank God

At times when I was down and felt discouraged, it was so difficult to find words to thank God. As the new year starts, I reflected on my stay these three and a half years in France. Then I realised how much God has blessed me. I could never imagine my current situation three years back.

In the first few months, love sustained me and kept me in hope. Yet somehow, there were periods of real low as I was not working, not speaking french, not belonging to any social circle. Now, love still sustains me. Seb and I are very much in love. We even agreed that we love each other more than when we just got married. I work, integrate well into the French society, speak french and enjoy the leisure lifestyle in France.

My close friends will know the struggles I faced during the periods of uncertainity. Seb and I arrived in France both looking for a job. I took 6 months to find one and Seb much later. Being without a job means that we cannot have big projects planned. It was agonising for me. But God is good.

I thank God that Seb and I love each other and support each other during tough times.
I thank God for providing both of us good health.
I thank God for giving us stable jobs.
I thank God that economy is picking up.
I thank God that we have the means to go on vacations.
I thank God for our appartment which will be ready in June.
I thank God that I have a pet cat, Bao Bei (I always wanted a cat but my mom did not allow).
I thank God that I join a badminton club.
I thank God that we have enough friends to spend time with.
I thank God for my in-laws who treat me really well.
I thank God that I appreciate the french cuisine.
I thank God that I pick up knitting.
There are many other things to thank God for. I have learnt to set my priorities right.
Learning to live at peace with oneself and being contented with whatever God provides at this moment.

vendredi, janvier 19, 2007

Circus time

Seb and I received tickets to go to the circus. My friend went to watch it, loved it so much that she bought the tickets as Christmas presents for us.

Phenix circus presented the Jublié by the stars of the Moscou circus.

It was the first time in my living memory to go watch a circus. We arrived early in Parc Boulogne and there was an enormous top set up. We went into the reception area and there were vendors selling souvenirs of Russian masks, Russian dolls, Russian paintings, Russian brooches etc. There was a stall selling popcorns and candies for kids and a stall selling coffee and hot chocolate. When the time was near, we went to our seats and waited for the start of the show. The inside of the top was bigger than I thought and was surprising warm for a make shift tent considering that it was winter.

A Russian music started to play and at first I thought it was playing from a recorder. As I followed the eyes of the rest of the audiences, I saw that there was a stage set up just above the entrance of the ring and there were live musicians playing. A violinist was playing on her electric violin in the crowd. She was full of energy and walked and ran and shaked while playing music at the same time. She brought up a warm rapport as everyone clapped and our eyes followed her around the whole place. When the Russian music ended, the first performance began. It was a muscled man doing balancing acts mid-air with a metal globe. At one point, he was hanging in a contorted position with just his wrist holding his whole weight. The wrist was inverted in such a position that it was amazing how much strength and control he had. He had a V shaped body and Seb was totally in awe of this performance.

We continued to watch performances by clowns, jugglers, dangerous act on a solo trapeze etc. Each time, the music was played live and the co-ordination of the music and the act was perfect. Throughout the show, a man dressed in elastics frog costume showed up with silly acts. At the end of the show, he appeared this time with his female frog partner. He was a contortionist. He sat on a big turntable (rotating platform, such as a lazy Susan) and put his hands on a stand attached to the ground. As the music built up the suspense, his partner started to slowly rotate the turntable. Slowly, his lower body turned 15 degrees perpendicular to his upper body, then 45 degrees, then 60 degrees, then 90 degrees and she continued to turn the turntable until the contortionist could see his own butt when he looked down. That was a 180 degrees twist. It was scary to watch. How was it possible for anyone to be so flexible? He was really amazing.

But the highlight for me was the horse performance. The horses were just running round the ring and it was the riders who did the tricks. I find the horses magnificent and the co-ordination of animal and man impressive. At the end of the show, there were vendors selling balloons of horses. We did thoroughly enjoy ourselves. Thank you Anca for the tickets.

vendredi, janvier 05, 2007

Happy New Year 2007

Year 2007 is finally here. It will be a better year for us this year. Each year is getting better and better. This year, we will be visiting my brother in Brisbane. We will be buying a kitchen and flooring for our new apartment which is due in June.

Resolutions? I do not usually make them. If I did, I forgot about them in no time. But while I was in the train last year, I had a relevation. I gave up my seat to a lady. I did a good deed. She thanked me. I felt good.

I made a resolution to do a good deed each day. It can be any small gesture. The deed is counted when the stranger says "Merci"; even if it is "Non, merci". The fact is that the person acknowledges that a deed is offered/done and he appreciates it. It can be the simple geste of giving up my seat to someone in need. This is rare as I often stand in crowded trains. It can be giving spare change or saying "Bonjour" to the one legged old man along the street whom I passed almost every morning to work. It can be helping out with Salvation Army in giving food to the needy. It can be serving in church as an usher. In this world of misery, I feel a need to justify my existance to myself. I justify to families and friends by being kind to them. I would like to warm up this cold society by being nicer to any random person. Is this resolution too noble to be true? I have no idea if I can really do it each day. I will try my best. I know that I need this to clear up my trouble thoughts each time I see people in need in the news.

To change to a lighter tone, I promised to write about the gifts I received for christmas.
1. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt. I read his other two books all in french and each book brought tears
2. A beautiful vase
3. A white blouse with a knitted black veste to match
4. 4 Cd Simply Français on french music
5. Badminton racket
6. A beautiful framed up of A to Z cross-sitched by my sister-in-law

Well, well, we are done with 2006 now. I hope 2007 will be a better year for everyone.