The Land of Rising Sun

Two weeks have past since Japan was struck by a massive earthquake that scaled up to 8.8 on a Richter Scale. The country unwillingly owns the headline news of almost all newspapers across the globe, and until now, we still have been looking at grave news of piled debris and people lost or found dead. And when snow fell in Japan, it couldn’t have been more depressing.

By now, most of us have read or heard about the terrible disaster; we have prayed for or may have grieved with the people who have lost so much more overnight. We have offered helping hands with donations and charity events, and at the same time be more appreciative of what we have now.

 

I, along with Chia Khuan, Caroline and Looh Zhen went to collect donation in lieu with the Help Japan Charity Week organised by the Manchester Japanese Society.

Chia Khuan and I were initially stationed at Market Street, along fifteen other volunteers all asking the public for donations… but we decide that Market Street had more than enough volunteers. Wouldn’t the public feel ambushed when they decide to, let’s say, get a roll of tissue paper only to be greeted by a row of people asking kindly for donations?

So, both of us went to the other side of Manchester Arndale : the Manchester Eye area. It was slightly more chilly there, probably with more open space. Initially it was difficult to get public to donate, but as one Malaysian and another Singaporean volunteer kindly give us a note each that read “Donations for Earthquake in Japan” . How very kind of them 🙂

And because of that, help came pouring in like rain. I felt so touched when people emptied their purse when they see the signs. One old lady came up to me, emptied her coin purse , and said “I wish I could have done more”.

There was a funny incident though, another old lady came up and asked if my family were safe and sound. I was a bit confused at first, but I quickly answered yes, and that I am not Japanese, but Malaysian. She brightened up and say “oh, that’s a lovely country”. Sometimes I do feel that I look like a Japanese, probably because of the small eyes.


I find it most touching when parents gave their children a coin or two two put in the bucket. Reminds me of when I was young and my parents used to do the same. Put a coin in my palm and gestured me to put it into the donation box. I could still remembered how happy and excited I was to be able to help. Because, just because, every cent counts.

So after the child put the coin into the box, I thank the child.. and the parents. I think I said thank you (and really mean it) more on that day than I did in the whole month.

On Wednesday, we went to Taiwu for a Japan Charity Dinner. There were four different society, the Malaysian Society, Japanese Society, Singapore Society, Chinese Society… And As it is priced at £10, only people who really wants to go went.  Twelve of us sat in a table; five girls and seven guys, oh, here’s a picture of us girls except Anastasia. She must have wandered off somewhere talking with friends.

Chia Khuan, me, Amy, Shiang Lynn

It guilts me a little to have so many dishes in front of us, while some others are starving and eating scraps. Yes, this is the kind of thing that I feel guilty on, not illogical things that you pluck from a pea sized brain. Look at the amount of food: duck, chicken, fish, beef, vegetable, bean curds….

Highlights of the event: the cooking contest! I pitied the contestants and emcee slightly, because while we were enjoying the many variety of food on the table, the they didn’t get to eat but only get to entertain us.

Oh did you spot Pei Hau as one of the panel of judges? He’s the Cheryl Cole of the table – with all the nice words.

There were five contestants, which means five extra food for us to try. Just going to show you one: the  yoghurt and peach dessert. The rest? Aww, should have came to find out.


With Japan misfortune, Libya possible war and poverty issues, it got me to think what’s important and what’s not. Blow a wish for the less fortunate and just remember, I’ll quote from Caroline “God is watching”.

P.S. I tried to add vintage effects into my pictures but it doesn’t seem to be working for me..

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