Time has definitely passed on. Every time I returned, there would be a time lapse of 8 years. How grandparents, aunties and uncles aged and how cousins grew so tall so quickly.
Here's a photo of my grandpa, I guess he's happy to see her grand daughter pointing a big camera in his face.
If I had to count which word my relatives said to me the most, it would have to be: eat.
A tradition in my hometown: before a big event, before we leave for a long journey, or return from a long journey, our loved ones would cook us noodle with hardboiled eggs. I ate grandma's homecooked noodles graciously, every mouthful reminding me of her warmth and thoughtfulness. This picture brings up bittersweet memories. It was my first family house, now sold to some family I don't even know.
Sometimes fragments of childhood memories would surface, fishing with friends and catching butterflies, fireflies, and the croaking of frogs into the night whilst I lay awake enchanted and listening. China has changed at such a breathtaking pace that the old china I once knew and left behind as a 9 year old girl has faded away and gone almost completely. Tall buildings mushroomed, and where there used to be people in farmer's cone hats carrying chickens and livestock, I see wider roads and traffic lights and hondas.
In this picture, people gathered on this bridge to take its last photographs, for it will be torn down the following day to make way for a new metro station
But every now and then, you spot a corner which remain completely unchanged, a reminiscence of a past soon to be forgotten
This lady is happy to see me, she keeps saying that I look like my mum. Although I have no recollection of who she is.
The weirdest thing about wondering around my hometown is that I get strangers coming up to me all the time, telling me how much I've grown.
To anyone else, this is just any old crumbling doorway. To me, it opens a floodgate of memories.
That's the little hole I used to peek out of for hide and seek. I stood there, my camera in hand, wanting to capture it all, as if I can still hear the laughter of the old days running with my cousins, and hear my late grandpa telling me to help him make the cotton blanket, and see the image of my late grandma lying lifeless at her deathbed as I cried for hours not wanting to let go.
I visted my old childhood house many times in my dreams. So it was a surreal feeling actually walking up the stairs to the room we stayed, now cobwebbed and deserted for years.
I clicked the shutter because I wanted to immortalise time, and that place I grew up in; before this precious piece of my memory fades and distorts into oblivion, before this building too gets torn down and replaced.
Let nothing hold you back from exploring your wildest fantasies, wishes, and aspirations. Don't be afraid to dream big and to follow your dreams wherever they may lead you. Open your eyes to their beauty; open your mind to their magic; open your heart to their possibilities.
Dare to dream. Whether they are in color or in black and white, whether they are big or small, easily attainable or almost impossible, look to your dreams, and make them become reality. Wishes and hopes are nothing until you take the first step towards making them something!
Dare to dream, Because only by dreaming, will you ever discover who you are, what you want, and what you can do. Don't be afraid to take risks, to become involved, to make commitment. Do whatever it takes to make your dreams come true. Always believe in miracles, and always believe in you!
"NOW" is a gift, that's why they call it "THE PRESENT"
Travel life has the essence of a dream.
It is something outside the normal,
yet you are in it.
It is peopled with characters you have never seen before
and in all probability will never see again.
It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness,
and pangs of longings...
But you are like the vikings who have gone into a world of adventure,
and home is not home until you return.
But home is where the heart is.
So where is home?
Dance like no one is watching
Love like you've never been hurt
Sing like no one's listening
Live like it's heaven on earth
Chocolate flows in deep dark, sweet waves, a river to ignite the mind and alert the senses...
Unexpected events in our daily lives are like different flavors that lie waiting beneath each chocolate cover.
Just like Forrest Gump explained:
"Life is like a box of chocolate, coz you never know what you're gonna get"