Others

Date: 7th April 2016

Another Year of Blogging: Celebrating Inner Life to the Outer World

He, as the family breadwinner, grabs his leather briefcase to leave footprints around the globe, meeting customers from all walks of life; She, as usual, patiently explains new vocabs in the blackboard, sparkling the interest of eager-eyed kids towards the discovery of new knowledge;  I, myself, am a university student who regularly attends a series of lectures and dives into endless pages of readings for the tutorials; and perhaps You, dressed in decent attire, enter your office every weekday morning, being well-prepared for another brand new day.

We seem to have no relation at all.  Some of us desire for more fortune for a living and climbing up to the socio-economic ladder, some just yearn for raising the future pillars up and witnessing them flourish, and some zest to polish specialised knowledge and navigating own path in the golden years.  Day by day, we are just living up to own daily routine and working schedule, embarking on our life journey and striding towards personal goals.  We would probably not be knowing each of us looks like, maybe you are following the chic of make-ups and stylish fashion, or just a simple, ordinary person but appears invigorated. Yet in fact, our eyes have been fixed to the same spacious WordPress platform, fingers keep clicking away on the keyboard for novel content, and we have been following catchy titles that are created by myriads of us in the reader list.  By just a brisk click of a “Publish” button, at that moment, you decide to open the windows of your heart and let the fountain of your inner emotion burst to your unknown audience.  Throughout these years, we have been vividly sharing leisurely pastimes or concrete observations, elegantly-written poems or life truths, colourful travel photos and subtle descriptions, much better to some acquaintances whom we meet face to face.

wordpress draft
Publish a new post and who knows where it will reach this time

Gradually, our blogging life is being linked to some distant yet like-minded souls – by a string of special coincidences.  From swarms of unknown crowd, from boundless sea of faces, discovering each of our blog address, undeniably, is like finding a needle in a haystack.  Perhaps I am first struck by the feeling of love at first sight towards your site, as your encouraging words tugged at my heartstrings; or you are simply curious of my cartoon image, trying to unveil who I am and what I am passionate for.  No matter you are on the edge of chained ridges or at the top of high-rise skyscrapers, sticking with your eloquent words becomes joys to behold, to linger over, and to spice up our lives.  These two years, blogging indeed accompanies a teenager that once dreamt of a personal wonderland into an early adulthood in which she falls in love in writing.  I empower words as I follow authentic voices inside my mind.  I can spend hours in polishing sentences just because I feel being at the top of the world or writing pacifies my empty soul, at that particular moment.  Despite keeping myself to myself at times in reality, WordPress is like where I belong, is where I am willing to wear my heart on my sleeve.

Perhaps, like I do, blogging frees some of us from the burden of deadline pressure and grips of anxiety, or enables us to envision the future developments decades later, or reminiscent those bittersweet comfort of the past.  No one sees us blush, no one hears us shutter.  It allows us the time to think of what we would like to express, rather than searching word choices in uncomfortable silence when our mind might not be on the same page.  In this ever-changing world where billions of people hurried-by, perhaps all we want is to leave something meaningful behind, to leave an indelible mark in someone’s heart, to break the invisible wall of isolation through the sweeping power of words, or just to reach people’s soul through a WordPress blog that starts from scratch.  Here we share glee and sorrow, delight and distress, as well as life’s twists and turns.  And here we are, to appreciate the distinctive style of every story, and also the blooming inspiration and unfailing endeavour by fellow bloggers behind.

No matter you are now figuring out your next blogging topic, brainstorming your in-depth thoughts, or just like me, placing myself in a cosy couch with fine sea view, and having a last glance of this draft, one thing is for sure.  It is our creative mind that craves purely-distilled ideas from the bottom of own heart.  In a big somewhere out there, equally binds us together is also our broadmindedness towards diversifying opinions.  All these magically travel beyond physical distance and geographical boundaries, and outreach the intertwined souls of He, She, me and You. ♦


 

Date: 24th December 2015

Why I Write?

I have neither intended to halt my regular writings, nor have I abandoned this blog despite my silence in these three months. The city life, seems to be fascinating at first glimpse, is however in fact so hasty in its way of life that you could hardly breathe. Nowadays, messages are unrehearsed and responses are quickly jotted off at the heat of the moment. How easy, despite awkwardly, chats are mainly about weary contents which are no more than what we did and where we went.   Fixed in the screen and wrap myself up with sequences of collaboration, I feel much at ease to be alone, to slow down my pace and to create chains of thought-provoking words. In such serenity and far away from those hectic life, I let my blooming thoughts spur, spurring like a running fountain. It is as if delving deep into a comfort zone that allows me to brainstorm, to smooth my tedious mind, and let my soul wander.

I hold firm that words can travel and transcend thousands of miles. It is challenging, yet tempting to develop an elegant writing style with the presence of clarity and precision, as well as to come up with an eye-catchy topic, thorough content and impressive conclusion. It makes me feel like an artist, except carrying with a brush and a canvas, but with ink pens and blank papers or a laptop instead. Not only is writing an expressive tool, but also an art of transmitting friendly messages. Maybe my words offer someone comfort and warmth, reminding them of those lights at the end of the tunnel. Maybe my words lift someone from the side of the world in pure rejoice, and feed their mind with kind thoughts. Because I write, this pastime prompts me to discover what I believe, believe in the beauty of this lingua franca, believe in the power of words that impress people wherever they are. Because I write, my brainstormed voice will not be silenced and swallowed up by the passing of time. Bit by bit, I leave indelible marks in sheets of blank paper and this WordPress website. It will be eternal, reaching far, far into the others’ mind, touch their hearts and refresh my memories, regardless of the fast-changing city life is. ♦

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
― William Wordswort


 


Date: 30th April 2015

Bittersweet Study Life as an Astronaut

Time flies like an instant.  Today, the last day of April, comes to the finale of these two years of learning.  While first stepping into the building and attending lectures as a freshman, I hadn’t thought of myself gaining eye-opening knowledge after all lessons completion, let alone discovering my own visions of further academic path.  Although being a Spacer is by no means easy when shouldering bulky pressure, it was and is still my notion to be against all odds: To turn a new leaf and let bygones be bygones.  Never lose hope and stand up with a breakthrough.

Bedeviled by endless group projects and term papers, it was inevitable for me to burn midnight oil and take great pains in a fierce race against the inexorably slipping time.  Thousands of cells exhausted when I was racking my entire brain to expound essay questions in various in-depth perspectives; while my eyes have already half-closed after being in front of my laptop for consecutive weeks.  Drowned into the choppy sea of research puzzles and questions, I will never forget my endeavour in finishing an English paper in 3000 words within 24 hours once grouped with free-riders.   Once we even took a risky step to switch our PowerPoint content to the topic of “China’s corruption” last night before the presentation morning.   Without any script preparation, we were eventually standing in front of the class, pretending to be cool, calm and collected.  During the exams, hundreds of schoolmates whose circumstances are similar to me, aiming to pass exams with flying colours, were all sitting in the hall, and pondering on how to apply suitable theories in the given case studies.  What you could patently hear in the sea of young faces were probably those hectic sounds of writing pens and sounds of papers being flipped over.  My bumping heart kept racing especially when I still hadn’t finished the conclusion when the time was nearly up.  Tracing back to all those fast-paced flashbacks, it is still a huge reassure to imagine how driven I was by pushing my potential to the fullest in such limited time even in the last minute, and how finger-crossed I was when realizing the lack of time for a thorough revision and canvassing reading materials.  The hard slog of 5000-word assignment seems impossible at first with requirements of logical flow, reasoning and analytical skills.  Nevertheless, once you get inspired by the viewpoints from scholar articles, it is not that formidable at all.  What you need are sustaining patience, diligence and enough time for proofreading.  Therefore, don’t underestimate your inner talent, have faith in yourself and cherish every learning opportunity.

Apart from the above blood, toil and sweat, study life was also filled with heartwarming cheers, encouragement and support.  Never was I in a complete solitary.  Those were the days when we doubled up with laughter when sharing hilarious jokes and burst into dripping tears after weeks of hard work.  Those were the days when we were surrounding each other, having fruitful discussions of current affairs and international news.  Those were the days when we opened our heart to share personal thoughts and goals, listened with sympathetic ears and embraced each other tight with best wishes during the farewell dinner.  However dreary I was before and during the exams, I could still vividly remember our perseverance with one of my good friends in the library till evening dusk, together exchanging notes and getting prepared for the potential exam questions.  Last but certainly not least, my sincere gratitude goes to myriads of lecturers who have been tirelessly answering our queries, as well as inculcating us by heart along with comprehensive notes and explanations.  Some were additionally having ample conversations with us ranging from their learning experience to contemporary issues during hourly lunch gatherings, and eventually help spark my immense interest towards the academic field of International Relations.

All in all, nothing could be more delightful when standing by each other’s side, witnessing the blossoming bond of companionship and together rising to seemingly insurmountable challenges. Mixed feeling immediately crops up in my mind.  Looking back to the place where we learnt, recalling how we fruitfully grew in these two years, watching photos of our smiling faces right now, inexpressible emotions just keep spilling in my heart.  Dear every Astronaut, wish all of you good luck, good health and all the very best.  Keep in touch and take good care of yourself. ♦


Date: 4th April 2015

Happy Birthday to… Variety as Life Spice!

Image from Google

When the darkness of midnight falls and cloaks, when the chandeliers from the neighbours are gradually dimmed and faded, when everyone is falling asleep and having a sweet dream, you can only hear a pin drop except my continual typing sound from the laptop keyboard. However frantically busy I am, however impending the assignments are on my desk, however drained after a day of study, here I am, still blogging for this WordPress post with sheer pleasure.

Can you believe I have been clinging to my WordPress blog – “Variety as Life Spice” that far? For entirely a year? I wouldn’t have believed it when this blog was first opened largely due to my immediate curiosity. Had it not been for my Finnish friend (also a book blogger) Anastasia’s suggestions, I wouldn’t have ended up with WordPress right now. Living in Hong Kong the cosmopolitan city, it is admittedly a boon for me to experience a multifarious array of leisure activities including shopping, dining and hanging out with friends, to name but a few. However fun these activities might seem, however less in vogue blogging is in my home city, I hold firm to my belief that the joy of blogging in WordPress transcends all those activities.

Being a part of spacious WordPress family is just like engaging in sincere interactions and being warmly greeted by seas of high-caliber writers. Throughout this entire year, my time often elapses with amazement when hundreds of designed themes and daily prompt topics are popping in front of my eyes. While gratifying feelings keep springing up when reading other bloggers’ achievements or their appreciative comments one by one. Their unique experiences and remarkable life journeys, needless to say, have already broadened my horizons and allured me to glimpse over their life path all the way. You would be vividly intrigued by their staunch resolve when they are going to embark on a half-year yacht trip across Southeast Asia, or fulfill their travel dream at the expense of selling their properties. In the meantime, pairs of cross-cultural couples, rising to geographical boundaries with unwavering love, illustrate ways of maintaining long-distance relationships and adapting to their new lives. Keeping abreast of daily issues, let’s not forget those who are tirelessly advocating humanity and analysing contemporary China and Ukraine’s affairs. What even more invigorating are certainly those imaginative poems, breath-taking photos or uplifting notes reflecting the beauty of life, encouraging us to hold on our dreams and fly high with feathered wings. Could shopping, dining and hanging out accomplish and make up to my continual affiliations with world audience? Definitely not.

Not only does WordPress blog act like a bond with the others, but also quench my thirst towards free writing. A fine piece of writing is just like connecting all crucial elements, comprising proper grammar and myriads of vocabs, into one. You might be wondering why I still blog even when saddled with unfinished papers for thousand words each. You might be wondering whether I would feel exhausted when I am writing such large amounts of additional wordings not in my mother language. True, I know I still have rooms for improvement in my English proficiency. There are pondering moments when I am racking my brain, and meditating over what I am going to write next. However, all these scenarios would in no way chill my passion towards delving into the clarity and elegance of this lingua franca. How much I still relish being in my study room without disruption, having a cup of hot tea nearby and diving myself into intellectual universe of expressive sentences for hours. How incredible while I am making full use of this convenient platform, under my penname Bauhinia, to discover engrossing topics freely, share my inner feelings and voice out heartfelt opinions to readers from different walks of life. A broad spectrum of topics, ranging from books, music, Hong Kong’s issues to personal pastimes, dazzle my blog menu. Though I may appear a bit reserved in person, nothing can be more at ease than listening to soft melodies all by myself, then afterwards opening my heart and devoting my thoughtful mind into literary creations especially in such a tranquil midnight.

To me, silence is golden. Being alone under the dark sky is no longer synonymous to complete boredom and loneliness. Adding colour to our daily lives lies not in socializing in crowded areas, but also spending time individually, recording sights and sounds of my life, injecting enthusiasm and pure emotions in every of the wordings. Happy Birthday, my Variety as Life Spice. I wish to celebrate the upcoming birthdays with you forever, even after years and decades, with all my heart. ♦


Date: 29th January 2015

My Fourth 10km in Hong Kong Marathon 2015

“For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level.”
― Haruki Murakami, “What I Talk about When I Talk about Running”

10KM Route Map
10km route map and its altitude (Image from the official website of Hong Kong Marathon)

“10km race is about to begin after five seconds.  Five, four, three, two, one.  Start!” Special guests exclaimed through a loudspeaker in the final countdown.  Standing in the starting line in a huge sea of participants, even though it would be my fourth time to get myself ready in the Island Eastern Corridor, I still felt exhilarated to take part in this international silver label race.  Gladdened by prompting waves of cheers and elavating chit-chat sounds, after greeting to my friend, I finally stepped through the starting line.

It was just three quarter past five in the morning, but the darkness would never dampen our running ardour.  Nothing can be more spectacular than running with hundreds of thousands of participants at the crack of dawn, watching the surrounding residential buildings and high-rise skyscrapers along the prominent landscape of Victoria Harbour.  Each new gust of gentle breeze was brushing my face and cooled down my already heated body.  Wearing a short pant, a comfortable T-shirt and a pair of sport shoes, I felt determined after being well-equipped for the race for fitness sake.  Alongside me are flocks of people who were “RUNNING FOR A REASON” as advocated, for health or for numerous reasons, to name but a few.  To blatantly voice their political wishes out, I caught a fair glimpse of participants carrying banners of “I want a genuine universal suffrage” in Chinese.  True, this long march of our goal might be undoubtlessly tough, yet this is our staunch resolution to embark on this journey, just like running 10km, or even half and full marathon.

As in a challenge group, everyone of us was galloping in a highway, setting great store on catching up with a faster pace, pushing ourselves to achieve personal best based on maximum individual’s calibre.  At first, in hopes of stress-busting and cardio capacity strengthening, I thought running by my own and with the others are more or less the same.  But however, varied to meditative individual run that helped clear your mind, seldom can I apprehend the thrills and spills of running with the others until the marathon day.  Volunteers’ encouraging applause and entertaining drums playing nearby filled the light air with zest.  While glancing other participants’ regular running pattern was certainly interesting to behold.  Immersed myself in such heart-warming ambience, it just immediately sharpened my competitive edge and invigorated me to sprint with tenacious strength.  I could feel my racing heartbeat and sweat kept dripping from my forehead while my legs were leaping in great magnitude.  It was my conviction to accomplish my time limit of at least less than an hour.

“For a runner like me, what’s really important is reaching the goal I set myself, under my own power.       I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied.”

Despite the engrave of “never give up” spirit, buffing and puffing like a bull, I nevertheless was a bit worn out with my heavy legs in 7.5km, not to mention the steep climb in 9km.  At that instant, voices of two sides kept playing “tug of war” in my mind.  One, which endeavoured to persuade me again and again, “Stop and have a walk.  It is not a big deal.”  However, whenever I wish to have a sluggish halt due to physical exhaustion, another voice urged me right way, “No, you have promised yourself not to give up and carry on.”  Yes, how could I topple in lethargy while my heart roared with strong will at first?  Tracing back those bittersweet running moments during young adolescence, I step by step enhanced my cardio capacity, from 400m, then 800m and 1500m in track events, eventually to 4km, 7km and at last 10km throughout these eight years.  I could still vividly remember my glorious triumph, seemed to be once in a blue moon in my eyes at first, in Inter-School Cross Country Championship.  Likewise, 10km run was an impossible mission for me few years ago, but here I was in the race in my fourth time, after experiencing sweat and tears all the way.  Attitude is the golden rule for achievement.  No matter how dry my throat was, how patently drained I would be, I should not enable any useless excuse get in the way of what I would like to achieve and deprive my clear vision.  Instead of adopting sluggish thoughts, I decided to remain steadfast and adamant, and resolute to proceed to the end.  After all, there is no short cut to living up to your expected goal.  To keep on going, I have to keep up the steady rhythm.

“To keep on going, you have to keep up the rhythm.”

The encouraging sound and colourful race decorations were getting nearer and louder from the cheering area from 9km onwards.  The sky was gradually adding its blue, and the rosy clouds were floating above, as if welcoming me and swarms of participants to be galloping back to the Victoria Park at bay.  Finally running through the finish line, that emotional moment immediately moved my heart and neither the surrounding buildings nor the faces of supporters could be seen by my dripping sweat except a vision.  Though there were rooms for improvement, you could never imagine how euphorically rewarded I was after weeks of arduous self-training.  It is beyond words to describe my long-lasting work-out delight and explain to someone why you head over heels towards long-distance running.  I can stay cosy in bed or an armchair, or chill myself out by other means like hanging out with acquaintances.  Nevertheless, this enduring pastime, an epitome of sustained diligence and consistent perseverance, offered me an invaluable life lesson that academic reference books cannot be accomplished.  Everything formidable will be surmounted if we hold firm to our belief, not only in running, but also in each aspect of our life.  Understanding own limits, and striving our best to make the most of them, shine while we can.  For me, these are the vitally of running and ann engraving synonym for life.  Only by relentless mind can our unyielding willpower and enduring character be galvanized.  Finishing the race would never waver my running enthusiasm.  I will keep having faith of myself, keep honing my skills, and keep running as I am able in all my lifetime. ♦

(This year result on 25th January: 56 mins 19 seconds)

“Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as whole.”

Souvenirs in these four years

Date: 1st January 2015

Welcome to the Flight 2015!

After biding a farewell to year 2014, journey of Flight 2015 has just embarked!

Your life luggage should only contain the best souvenirs from 2014,

The bleak experiences should be placed into the trash.

The duration of this flight will last for twelve months, so tighten your seatbelt.

Our next stops will be:

Health, Love, Happiness, Harmony, Well-being, Positive spirits, Optimism, Peace

The following menu will be served during the flight, accompanied with bouquets of my hearty greetings:

A bursting cocktail of Friendship

A sparkling champagne of Success

A green salad of Fitness

A reaping gratin of Prosperity

A mastered plate of Knowledge & Skills

A fruitful bowl of Excellent News

An icing cake of Bliss

Last, let me thank those who made the year 2014 wonderful.  The flourish of close friendship bonds, week by week, impressed me.  Never are we in an one man army.  Counting on each other, our hearts are tying with a consistent goal.  A goal that means a great deal to us, a goal that needs to be grabbed with care.  All my dear ones, thanks for standing by my side.

Meanwhile, starting this blog of “Variety as Life Spice” is certainly my greatest decision in 2014.  Hooked on this writing pastime, I will keep sharing ideas of books, magazines, HK issues and music.  Readers, thank you so much of your sustained support and the “likes”.  From each of your comments, it is really fabulous to hear that you have been heeding and rejoicing my posts.  Stepping into the new year, rather than letting bygones be bygones, I will embrace these encouraging moments by heart and carry on.

Wish all of you be blessed with good luck and a thriving year ahead.  Hope your resolutions come true.  All the best and have an enjoyable trip in flight 2015!

Thanks for flying with us. ♦


Date: 4th November 2014

What a hectic school life!

Stepping into early November,  every day just passes like an instant with flooding school works, marking a sharp contrast from my laid-back summer and those carefree feelings in Taiwan’s trip.  Time, abstract though invaluable, is increasingly difficult for me to catch up.  Being a Social Science student, core subjects, such as “International Relations” and “Social Issues in Contemporary China”, are currently listed in my learning agenda.  A broad spectrum of topics, comprising collective security, political economy, have been or will be discussed in the lectures, to name but a few.  It is also flabbergasting to note the complexity of China’s wealth polarization dilemma, as well as its redistribution and marketization reforms during the lessons.  All these topics, undoubtedly, are widening my exposure to a great extent.

Yet, with such knowledgeable facts springing up in such a fast-paced speed, hardly does the time elapse without revising the theories and study guides within the limited time provided.  Flurried gale of impending term papers and group projects, along with mounts of papernotes and textbooks, have already drained me.  Requiring much analytical skills, in no way are schoolworks a piece of cake anymore.  On no account does the remaining time enough to devote to other leisurely pastimes.  To live up to the expectations, I have been repeatedly pondering over and over, “how can I finish all my work efficiently before the deadline?” or “Is this really the moment to loosen up while many of my schoolmates are cramming the readings?”.  This incredibly hectic semester, nonetheless to me,  has become vitally important especially blanketed by hazy uncertainty.  Hence, all I can do is to bury my head, albeit fanatically busy, into the study contents from break till bedtime.  So would I finally reap what I sow after two years of consistent diligence, as anticipated in several months later? ♦


Date: 18th August 2014

Blog Review: “Individuals in an epidemic” in Doctors without Boarders: 

http://blogs.msf.org/en/staff/blogs/may-the-forceps-be-with-you/individuals-in-an-epidemic

“This disease kills those you love the most, the people closest to you and those that you are most likely to care for.”

Ebola epidemic is looming in an astonishing speed in Africa and has reached worldwide grave concern.  In spite of this lethal scourge, nothing can prevent emergency response teams including a British gynecologist Benjamin Black heading deep to the isolation ward and standing in their firm foothold to rise to this Ebola battle.  Regardless of knowing their probability of being infected and no curing medical treatments for this catastrophic disease so far, here they are, still utilizing their profession and striving their best to rescue patients from the grabbing hands of death.

It is incredibly heart-breaking to witness those scraggy patients being physically feeble, being afflicted by the horrible virus, fighting against the watery diarrhoea and malnutrition and enmeshing in melancholy and hopelessness.  Moved with greatest sympathy, my heartstrings are being tugged while Dr. Black vividly described the surrounding environment of the isolated tent, figuring out his patients’ tearing stories behind while all their closest ones have already been passed away.  Feeling emotionally bounded to his patients, he eventually reaches out and gets hold of their hands, thereby giving them spiritual support and standing by their side in this horrified predicament, reminding them they are not entirely in solitary and complete darkness.  Every little can help.  Granted, no career can be nobler than sacrificing their promising lives in home country, but spending long hours a day to search ways to heal the pains and touch apathetic patients’ heart in unremitting endeavour.  I hereby salute to Dr. Black and his colleagues, please take good care and keep it up with these meaningful work!  May immense grace, courage and force always be with them! ♦


Date: 28th July, 2014

Why did WW1 break out in year 1914 but not 1905-1913?

Today a century ago accompanied with echoes of battle horns, flocks of confident armies of Allies and Central Powers were marching towards to the their antagonists.  Since 1905 in years of messed chaos, a world war had been considered to be in vicinity despite not erupting out until the Sarajevo Assassination.  Fundamental to the brink of war in 1914 but not between 1905 and 1913 was various reasons which would be analysed below.

In the First Moroccan Crisis in 1905, France’s hope for expanding Morocco was hampered by German intervention.  France was exasperated about German action, which in turn, Algeciras Conference was held in a bid to break the deadlock between France and Germany.  Germany made concession in the end and it was resolved that Morocco was administered by France but its sovereignty remained independent.  Apparently, this crisis didn’t constitute to a general war due to two factors.  For one thing, Germany lacked faith in the alliance system as her ally Italy unexpectedly casted her vote to France in the Conference.  As only with the aid from Austria-Hungary, Germany did not gain enough support from the allies.  For another, France established diplomatic alliance with Russia in 1893 and Entente Cordiale with Britain in 1904.  Although the treaties were in secret by itself, Germany had already noticed that two powers were standing by French side in the Conference.  Provoking wars rashly would only make Germany in the face of the menace of two front lines.

Nonetheless, Morocco wasn’t completely settled down after Algeciras Conference.  Few years later amid 1911, riots which took place in Morocco sparked up the onset of Second Moroccan Crisis.  France, the country which administered Morocco opted for sending troops and occupying Morocco.  Taking tight heed of the French action, Germany also delivered the warship “Panther” blatantly to Agadir in Morocco for glaring protest.  Irrespective of the tense relations between those two great powers, the world war still didn’t stoke up because of the lack of military preparation of Germany.  Although Germany was entangled in the naval competition with Britain, her naval power still lagged behind of the British, to quote an example, only 5 dreadnoughts were built in Germany but 10 were completed in Britain.  Plus, the German expansion of Kiel Canal which linked the Baltic Sea and North Sea was not yet finished.  Therefore, it was against the backdrop that Germany dared not provoke war.

So let’s turn the focus from African to European continent.  Being named as Bosnian Crisis, revolts broke out in Turkey during 1908 with Austria-Hungary seizing the opportunity to annex Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Despite the discontentment of Serbia, without Russian assistance, this crisis was being put down lastly.  A general war wasn’t triggered off at that time mainly because of the below explanations.  Internal chaos and military setbacks in Russia made her unable to react to Austria-Hungary’s incursion, for instance, her severe defeat in Russo-Japanese War and the revolution in 1905 when the Czar was compelled to establish a parliament.   Furthermore, Serbia’s national strength was still feeble to invade Bosnia, let alone establish a “Greater Serbia” and compete with Austria-Hungary as one of the European powers.

Bosnian Crisis in 1908. This cartoon showed Austria-Hungary was tearing Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Yet, Europe had never been peaceful at that time in the begin of Balkan Wars in 1912-13.  In the First Balkan War, in hope of partitioning Turkish territories, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania consolidated together to form the “Balkan League” against the weak Turkish Empire.  In Second Balkan War, due to the uneven territorial partition, Bulgaria was irritated and declared war with other Balkan states.  Notwithstanding, they did not lead to the flare up of a general war on the following grounds.  To commence with, though numerous of countries were embroiled in the wars, after all, they were just small Balkan states, thereby not constituting European peace into fatal peril.  What’s more, insofar as no direct Balkan territorial interest involved in Britain and France, apparently, great powers’ interest were not jeopardized.  At the same time, neither Germany, Austria-Hungary nor Russia were successful in the wider expansion to the Balkans.  Therefore, it came as no consternation that the Balkan wars did not prompt to a world war.

Th boiling point of Balkan troubles – When the bubble gets too big, it will eventually burst no matter how struggling they were to prevent the troubles

Finally, in Sarajevo Crisis in 1914, the Austria heir Archduke Ferdinard and his wife paid a visit to Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital and both were shockingly assassinated.  Alarmed and astonished, Austria-Hungary accused the assassination was all Serbia’s plot and an ultimatum was promptly issued to Serbia to bear the blame.  Nonetheless feeling affronted, Serbia rejected Austria-Hungary’s demand which signposted Austrian official’s allowance to be in Serbia to carry out a thorough investigation.  With the back-up of Germany’s “blank cheque’, Austria-Hungary no longer tolerated and immediately took the initiative in raiding Serbia.  After-wards, Germany and Austria-Hungary declared war with Russia and France.  It also brooked no procrastination for Britain to declare war to Germany after German outright violation of Belgian’s neutrality.  The World War finally broke out in 1914 with countries’ well-equipped military being the first and foremost.  The German expansion of Kiel Canal was completed and Russian armies were about 1.8 million in the same year; also, the British and German dreadnoughts were on the rise to 34 and 22 respectively.  All this unveiled the truth that the powers were ready for the war militarily.  Meanwhile, the chain effect of the alliance system should not be turned a blind eye too.  Thanks to the treaty obligations, Germany started providing “blank cheque” and military support to Austria-Hungary wholeheartedly.  Moreover, with the upsurge of nationalism, the assassination deemed to be an ethical challenge of Slav to the German.  As waves of national sentiment in Germany had already been stirred, Germany provided military back-up to Austria-Hungary.  Also, due to the fact that Serbia and Russia were both Slav, Russia expedited mobilization to aid Serbia with a view to enhancing national prestige.  Combined with these three aforementioned reasons, it is conceivable that 1914 inevitably became the embarking year of the First World War.

Sarajevo Assassination in 1914 – a blasting fuse to the First World War

All in all, given that the unprepared military, internal chaos and many others, several conflicts happened in 1905-13 didn’t burst out a large-scale war.  Nevertheless, the flame of hatred and abhorrence didn’t turn into ashes at all.  After the Sarajevo Assassination in 1914, with the arousing of ethical hostility, chain effect of alliance system and well-equipped military, these factors swiftly turned from a local incident to a world war involving major powers.  A spark had triggered off a huge fire.  Armies were building trenches and attacking enemies with poison gases and machine guns, bringing deleterious consequences on a continental scale that probably unseen before the First World War. ♦

Images from Google


Date: 7th July, 2014

The allure of writing own Diaries

In spite of the powerful spreading tide of Internet and social networking sites all around the globe, on no account is writing diary an outdated, old-fashioned pastime.  Imagine having precious, unique “self-biographies” in your cozy study room for personal satisfaction that everyone is dreaming of, that’s the alluring magnet of diaries!

Regarding diaries as my dearest intimate since 12 years old, I feel very at ease to open my heart to write about my delight and distress, it is as if having an in-depth sharing of my daily life.  Just flip over the smooth pages every time, a content smile immediately creeps across my face while realizing how much I have grown up and how I set goals for my future study path step-by-step.  No matter how time flashes, people came and left quickly, external environment changed in an instant and diary papers faded into dusty yellow, I can still vividly remember the sights and sounds of my entire adolescence.  What a bliss when I can still be surrounded by all those unforgettable memories, think of amicable someone to warm my heart and discover deeper feeling of true self according to my innermost mind freely! ♦

(If you would also like to have a try of writing a diary, below are some of my suggestions.  I hope you will find them useful and helpful:
  1. First, buy a bigger size of a diary book. (It would be better if security locks are provided)  Write your name, briefly introduce yourself and mention the starting date and year in the first page
  2. Find a quiet, tranquil place or room.  Highly recommend to write at the end of the day for overall daily reflections
  3. If you really cannot think of anything, then think of three grateful things to write.  It doesn’t matter whether describing balmy sunshine after days of raining or thanking someone who lend a hand to you
  4. If you don’t have enough time by the end of the day, try to write a few sentences, highlight the most important point or moment  
  5.  Lastly, Never give up in writing your own diary easily!!!  Believe me, you will feel rewarded when finishing a book or tracing back what you did in the past.  At the same time, this hobby also helps you to master your writing skills.  Have fun in it! )

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Words by a post-90s in Hong Kong

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