Thursday, August 29, 2013

Milk Tea, Mogu Mogu, and Men's Individual Matches

Okay they are not exactly related, I know :D Anyway, I shall be sharing some photos I took from the men's individual tournament, and there are only quite a few since there were four courts and the matches were all happening simultaneously (these are fewer though, as most were posted in Facebook). The girls from our team were assigned to different courts to look after and take care of the men who were fighting there, and I was assigned to court D with Lex, a really nice girl whom I just met when we all arrived in Kuala Lumpur. So we didn't get to watch all the other matches going in the other courts, but it's okay because there were other girls from our team cheering them on. 

Before anything else though, I just wanted to share my joy of discovering this milk tea drink yesterday. I was out for errands with my sister and we dropped by a supermarket to check out some interesting things and I found this.

It smells and tastes exactly like the Roasted milk tea in Chatime! It's good to have plenty of this around for any of those sudden Chatime craving attacks and you don't feel like stepping out or spending or there is no Chatime nearby. It's kind of addictive, really, I feel like I should've gotten like, twenty :D

Anyway so here are some photos from Saturday, during which there was the men's individual tournament. It was really efficient, how Malaysia took care of everything. Everyone just had to show up and basically everything we needed has been anticipated and addressed. Malaysia made everything very orderly and convenient for everyone attending the event, it was really great. For one thing, each group was assigned a waiting area before boarding the bus that would take us to Universiti Sains Malaysia where the event was held. We were originally assigned with Vietnam though I think they were transferred to another location (^^U) 

I know, I know, I just had the compulsion to take a photo of Vietnam and the Philippines together XD ANYWAY, moving on, this trip had so many great things in it, and despite some difficulties and challenges, I was not as emotional and things were not as "oppressive" (for lack of a better word) as last year (2012) in Hong Kong. I think it helped a lot that I had my own thoughts and reactions in check, and I was with a bunch of people, most of whom were very encouraging and supportive and were in very bright moods, so they easily drowned out everyone and everything else who tended to drag me down. So all in all, it was a really marvelous experience and I was able to meet a number of really nice people, both from Manila and other countries. 

The photo above shows Ken having scored a Men point. Though I lost my voice from the night before and couldn't cheer him on loudly, I was kind of doing so in my head :D Lex was also in full support of him and her high spirits carried mine along with her (^_^) 

Speaking of support, I was quite moved by how the young members of the Philippine delegation were so encouraging and supportive. I do not get to practise with them here in Manila as we go to different dojos (which are also far away from each other), and it was the first time I was around them. But seeing them just once and having seen how they interact with one another, I noticed how warm and tight and strong their sense of Team is, particularly the girls I had noodles with on the first day, as well as the young men whom I met the next day. It was something so natural to them, and it was quite moving how well they took care of one another. In fact, even if I am not an original member of their group, but since I am competing alongside them for the Women's Team Competition, I was also taken care of, just like any other member. I was grateful they were there. We were all girls and we were all treated Equally, which I have never felt before. Even if I am not very good in kendo, these young women and young men treated me equally and encouraged me just as much as they did the others. I suddenly understood why they always fought with such high spirits. They do not have any space for fear, or uncertainty, or insecurity. They were already brimming with positive energies and a strong sense of connection with their other members. Together, they are all competent, and not merely competitive against one another. And it is something they naturally are, and not because they were told to be so. 

These guys above are Ken (again :D), and he is fighting against this nice guy whom I met in one of the bus rides. That time I was feeling bad about my exam, but giving away a handful of Skittles sort of made me feel better (^_^) I also had the chance to do keiko with him some time during the weekend. It was nice meeting many different people, as it also reminded me that where I am is just a pond, and there is much bigger world out there at sea. I think it is one of the things that this trip did - make me realize I have just been in a pond and that it's not all there is - people-wise and experience-wise and lesson-wise. Whatever it is that made me feel trapped or oppressed or overlooked or hopeless before has now been gently waved away by the much bigger sea I went to swim into, even for just a while. 

And it was not just kendo-related lessons and things I learned and realized. Of course kendo-wise, I really need to practise harder than ever and do so regularly (meaning I should avoid being absent again for three months straight :D), and for exams I should not suddenly switch to what I hear last, and moving forward I should apply what I learned when I was there, particularly those kindly taught to me by some people I met. But apart from kendo-things, a number of other things surfaced, which showed me more about what and how I can really be towards others, and how I've become compared to a few months to a couple of years back, and how easier or more automatic it has been for me to weed out or acknowledge and discern certain people and things. Anyway like what I mentioned in a previous post, I think "kendo really does that, make you see and realize even the things outside of it." 

Oh I almost forgot the second element in the title :D MOGU MOGU. It is not a biggie, just that I just tried the Orange Mogu Mogu and I really like it. I think it's right to start and end this post with beverages so no one goes home thirsty.

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