Thursday, November 4, 2010

A festive November

A stalk of red rose from Haiying who arrived in our dormitory a week ago.

Kind words from Gu li-ya.

My classmate Mariana from Brazil. A professional multilingual translator.

This is what I appear in the eyes of three year-old Matusha. Potent and wild imagination. I love it.

Gifts, flowers, books, ornaments, hair-pins, vase, marzipan and most importantly heartfelt wishes, and happy moments together.

Meant to delete this picture but I could not, you could take a good look at my happiness.

A card from Mama Galia or Mama Galina.

The ultimate gift is from Matusha who came personally to wish me happy birthday! In return, I gave him a chocolate bar and our favorite Kvacc, a kind of traditional drink made from bread.

My birthday meal. Gu-liya and Cui wen-hao cooked Chinese 'Long-life' noodles, I cooked chicken wings and cabbage with dried shrimps. They are family to me.

Beautiful Natasha's son Matusha came with his congratulatory drawing and wishes.

Gift from Mama Galia, a book about the first czar of Russia, Peter The First, the little tiger with money, together with a pen, is from his grandson Mishenka!

Chinese 'Long-live' noodles from great cook - Cui. The pure white poached egg was still in the boiling water then.

Mama Galia's daughter, Svetlana whom I have yet to meet made this extremely delicious noodle dish for me. She translated my English blog about mama Galia into Russian, and from there she knew me.
My Russian teacher, Irina Sergeevna Picarevckaya.

A birthday with less than 40 candles, they only had that much in the shop.. :)

From left, Russian teacher of Shafiq, Larisa, Shafiq from Kabul, Nasir, Narendra (Nepal), Sajjad (Blangadesh, India). Mariana, my classmate from Brazil is holding the camera.

Here you see Mariana! She is my only classmate in the group.

Cutting the cake.


“We have made thee neither of heaven nor of earth,
Neither mortal or immortal,
So that with freedom of choice and with honor,
As thought the maker and molder of thyself,
Thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer.
Thou shalt have the power out of thy soul's judgment,
to be reborn into the higher forms, which are divine.”

--Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola (1463-1494)
Italian Renaissance philosopher

Yesterday was my birthday. I bought a cake for my friends and teachers in the university. I received many gifts, they are from my teacher Irina Pisarevskaya, Mama Galia, her daughter Sveta and her son Misha, Gu li-ya, my dean Mr Vladimir Vladimirovich (a book that he co-authored with other professors in the university about the Great Patriotic War of Russia), our new friend Haiying who put a stalk of red rose outside my door.

However the highlight is from our little Matusha who drew something for me and wished me happy birthday personally. He came with his mum Natasha, together with Mariana. As my room was too warm, he insisted he needed to undress and walked around the room. As it was late, they were meant to drop by and wished me Happy Birthday. They stayed on a bit, he was undressed by his mum to the bare minimum. When he delivered his mission, he dressed up and left.

Mama Galia, Sveta and Misha prepared cards and gifts and also food for me. What a lovely family! In the evening, Guliya and Wen-hao prepared "Chang-shou" or Long-live noodles. It was sumptuous.

I spoke to dad, mum and Stanley the day before. And I received my sister's sms at 6am in the morning. And thanks to Facebook, friends from abroad are reminded of this day. It took me an hour to reply everyone. Thank you!! Perhaps we might not see each other often, I have you in my thoughts wherever I am.

I had a hearty talk with Volodya on the phone too, describing what happened in the day in Russian.

I also had a missed call from Milan, it was Boris who helped me to buy a birthday cake last year. Although I am not celebrating with the same people this year, with different teacher and classmate, but I wish them well. Brother Martin from Singapore called too upon knowing the 'big day', thanked him and his wife Georg for sending and checking on the parcel which finally arrived last week. Two cans of Dutch peanut butter brought me much happiness, not to mention the bak-chang leaves, mushrooms, dried shrimps and etc.

At this age, I still like to celebrate this day, a day of gratitude and love, and many good wishes for the future. In Singapore, I always have multiple celebrations, it is not birthday, its "birth-month". Our tall and charming dean said to me, in Russia, age than ends with zero is considered jubilee. I wonder where will I be and what will I become in ten years' time. No matter how time flies, family and friends will always be an important part in my life, and it makes any sufferings, cares and concerns, and fatigue all worthwhile. Living is to me, thinking, working, caring and loving, if not reading and writing.

Really strange, some people in Russia refused to believe my real age and think that I am of their age, which is half my age. However my white hair and lines on the neck are mercilessly giving me away but I relish the process of living and breathing, the harvest of love and friendship, the pain and suffering that diminish with the tickling of Time.

Thank you Life. Thank you Russia.


  1. It is so nice to meet such warm people when you are far away from home. Happy belated birthday to you! Stay young and happy, as you always are!

  2. How did I miss this?! Nice to hear that you are loving Kaliningrad :) Happy belated birthday Lishan!

  3. Hi there!!! Thanks Danial, am doing fine here. Hope you do in Moscow too!