|管理科學高等學校 School of Business
任濟深 (會計學課程) REN JISHEN
Life can be likened to a journey with an unknown destination. We keep moving from one place to another, leaving footprints on the earth and memories in our hearts. No one can predict where they are going, what the destination will be like, or whether he can get used to a new life. However, we must have the courage to start our voyage. As inexperienced sailors, all of us have nothing but our hearts and intuition. Therefore, my friends, take the first step to explore your unknown lives. A brave new world is waiting for you in the front.
On August 9, as a member of an overseas study program sponsored by my college, Macao Polytechnic Institute, I set out for Brisbane with another 17 students from Hong Kong International Airport. We would study at the University of Queensland for two weeks, during which we would also visit some places of interest and take part in some activities in Brisbane. This opportunity was so precious and priceless for us that we all cherished it heart and soul and the reasons were very explicit. Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, is the third largest metropolitan area in Australia with a diverse range of peoples and cultures. UQ is a well-staffed and well-equipped institute with a long history and a fine tradition of scholarship, enjoying a worldwide fame. For us, everything was new in Brisbane. We were destined to experience something special and unforgettable that would broaden our horizons and help us cultivate an international perspective. What happened later proved that this experience had exerted a profound influence in my life.
If we talk about the icon of Brisbane and ask what influences Brisbane most, please don’t feel so surprised that 9 out of 10 Brisbane people will give you the answer ---- Brisbane River. And that is as it is should be, because generally speaking rivers are the mother of most civilizations. Maybe we don’t always know that many ancient civilizations were born along rivers, such as the ancient Babylon in Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt in the Nile valley and ancient China along the Yellow River.
Similar to the River Nile and the Yellow River, Brisbane River is very important and a vital food source for the Aboriginal people. Because of the river, many people migrated to live here, building houses, planting corn and vegetables and raising livestock and poultry. However, the Brisbane River floods frequently, which causes great losses to the people. Although life can be difficult sometime, every cloud has a silver lining. The floods bring rich soil to the bank of the river where lush bushes and woods are cultivated. For the local people, harvests always come after floods. That is to say, if you are suffering from a hard time, don’t lose hope and surrender. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get. Maybe success is around the corner.
As Bertrand Russell put it, an individual human existence should be like a river – small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, and the waters flow more quietly. I think the development of Brisbane River is the right portrayal of that of Brisbane people. The river nurses generations of Brisbane people, meanwhile the hardworking people can overcome all difficulties. Now many transport facilities and bridges have appeared and you can see a prosperous scene on the river.
The river, the city and the people interact with each other and share the glory and difficulty together. “I love the old river, on whose waters I have spent my lifetime.” An old caption said. I’m quite sure that the words are what all Brisbane people want to say from the bottom of their hearts as well.
The most exciting and unforgettable activity we participated in during the two weeks was the Ekka, an annual
agricultural exhibition of Queensland. It features fresh food from all over Queensland, farm animal shows, rides, fireworks and lots more. In Ekka, we saw many kinds of animals, such as cattle, sheep, horses, roosters, hens, ducks, cats, dogs and so on. I guessed that all kinds of farm animals in Brisbane were shown in Ekka.
In addition to the animal shows, there were also lots of agriculture products and the food sold was very cheap. We walked along the narrow road, pacing through the crowds. Sometimes, we cried out a cute animal’s name and took photos with it; other times, we stopped to enjoy different kinds of delicious foods. Even in winter, it was still very hot at noon in Brisbane. The temperature would rise to around 25 degrees centigrade. Obviously, the happiness we gained from Ekka was as hot as the weather, if not more so.
In the afternoon, it became cool gradually, so we went to the amusement park built for Ekka. One of my friends, Linny, was very brave. She wanted to ride a space roller which even made a roller coaster pale by comparison. She amazed me, because on normal days she was a very gentle and quiet girl, but to my great surprise, she had so much courage to play the space roller. Frankly speaking, many boys including me weren’t brave enough to play it. So she went to the space roller and the rest of us waited for her. When she got off it, she told us all something. I can still remember what she said clearly right now. “What a wonderful game it is!” Oh my goodness! What an extraordinary girl!
Having watched the animal shows, eaten the delicious food, and played some games, we headed for the central stadium to watch the firework performance that night. When we reached there, the stadium was already full of people and there were no seats for us. Therefore, we had to stand, but that was ok since if the fireworks were attractive. Actually, it was such a gorgeous performance! Many fireworks were set off into the sky at the same time. Then they exploded, with magnificent dazzling colorful lights that made the night sky become a beautiful painting before vanishing in a second, only leaving some wisps of smoke as if nothing gorgeous had ever happened. So is life. Something unexpected may occur and make you extremely happy or sad, whereas time will move on and afterwards everything will be returned to its original state.
It had been at midnight when the fireworks ended. Taking trains or buses, we went back home. Yes, the most exciting day in Ekka or even in Brisbane had gone, but my memories will not. What I experienced in Ekka has been stored up deeply in my mind.
I want to start this part with a short poem.
People in Our Lives
Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to new understanding
With the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for a while,
Leave footprints on our hearts,
And we are never the same.
I have met so many people from all over the world in Brisbane that I can’t recall all of them clearly right now. Some of them are the students who had classes with us and we had a wonderful time together talking about something interesting from our hometown. Others may be just strangers who we happened to meet in the street asking them for directions and they helped us a lot, some even led us to our destination. All my memories about the people in Brisbane are very warm and sweet. I want to show my sincere gratitude to them for their hospitality and kindness in this essay. However, in this part, I just want to talk about two people. They gave me a deep impression and influence my life in some ways. They are Arizo, and Susan.
Arizo was the teacher who taught us most of the courses in UQ. We called him Riz for short. Actually, he taught us a lot, not only about how to improve our language skills, but also something quite important in our life especially when we were suffering a hard life.
Riz wasn’t tall and he was kind of disabled. One of his leg wasn’t very well. He had to use crutches to help him walk. However, this awful injury didn’t influence him at all. He was such a humorous man that all of us never felt boring in his classes. He liked playing jokes with me and I was always ready to enjoy them. For me, he was a role model of strong will and optimistic spirit. Now, whenever I feel disappointed and exhausted, complaining how tough life is and I have to finish so many tasks in such a short time, I will just think about Riz for a minute and then be positive again, continuing to fighting against the hard life.
Susan was the hostess in my home-stay family. She is a mother of two young boys, Joshua and Liam. I think that I was the most fortunate guy among our classmates in Brisbane because of Susan. I can’t even imagine what my trips would have been without Susan. Each time before I went to some places of interest, Susan would prepare traffic information for me and tell me how to get there minutely, guaranteeing that I had understood her without any questions. Besides trips, she also cared about my study a lot. When I got home at night, she always asked me to report what had happened in the day and what I had learned in the university. Because the lunch time was pretty short on campus, she prepared my lunch in the morning and let me bring it to the university so that I would not hurry to buy lunch. As a result of her consideration, I had a wonderful time in Brisbane.
The day before I left, when I was packing my luggage, she knocked on my door and gave me a card and a box of Tim-tam. The beautiful card was made by her family, and it read:
It’s been our pleasure to have you stay with us. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and we welcome you if you are in Australia again. Have a safe trip home.
Sue, Stephen, Liam, Joshua, and Yoto
I was so surprised, seeing the thanks-for-visiting card, that words failed me when I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude. I looked at Susan’s eyes gratefully, whispering “Thank you so much; thank you!”
Next morning, it was a little bit cold. Susan drove me to UQ, because I needed to get together with my classmates on campus. That early morning, under sunrise, I waved goodbye to Susan and then turned around, getting on the bus to the airport. I felt like it was really hard to tear myself away from Susan and even Brisbane, but time was running out; I had to leave now.
Goodbye Susan! Goodbye Brisbane! Goodbye Australia! This wonderful trip began in a surprise and ended in happiness and warmness. Time flew. Two weeks was gone just in a flash. Happy times are always short. I could never expect that it would be eternal. Hard time is doomed to cover most of our lives. What I can do is cherishing my happy time and collecting power from them. Next time when I encounter with adversity, I will have enough courage to conquer it.
I have learned quite a lot in Brisbane. I have known what I needed and where I ought to go in the coming future. Maybe somewhere ages and ages from now, when I recall this experience, I will proudly say that my life has been changed.