Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: purple

Bergerac in the mirror

The first time I’ve ever heard of Bergerac was in grade 12 when in French class we read the play Cyrano de Bergerac. I had no idea what Bergerac meant, and I didn’t care enough to bother to find out. That was 6 years ago.

The second time I heard the word Bergerac was at a church service, when the English pastor mentioned that our French pastor’s daughter is going to move to Bergerac. Then it kind of struck me that I’ve heard of Bergerac somewhere, though I couldn’t recall for the life of me where and when I’ve heard it.

Then I began to look up small places nearby Bordeaux to visit on a Sunday with some friends. Near meant less than 2 hours by train, and with my limited knowledge on French geography, I opened up Google Maps, Wikipedia, and SNCF side by side, magnifying the regions around Bordeaux and looking up any towns or cities that seemed promising for a day-trip.

Lo and behold, directly to the east of Bordeaux, we found Bergerac hidden in the map, only an hour and a half away by regional train. Only after checking it out on trusty Wikipedia and reading the short blurb on Cyrano de Bergerac did it hit me that yes, that was indeed why it sounded familiar. As the TGV to La Rochelle was too expensive to book already, friends and I set out for Bergerac on a glorious Sunday morning.

As it turned out, Bergerac is one of the prettiest and most tranquil towns I’ve been to. This is why I enjoy visiting small towns. They give off an inexplicable aura of freshness and “soul”, and you can discover such inner peace by just walking down the old streets and staring at the reflections of the town in the river. In this case, Bergerac is situated along the Dordogne river, and though it may not seem as wide and majestic as our Garonne in Bordeaux, it shows a completely different kind of beauty. Of course, we were blessed with impeccable sunshine and warmth on the day of our trip, and as it was a Sunday, the town was calm and quiet, as if it was taking a break…

A tiny local market taking place among the trees. There weren’t many people, perhaps ten booths/vendors at most, but it was cute and cozy.

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What photography does to you

Ever since I picked up my first digital camera 6 years ago, I knew photography wasn’t just going to be something I wanted to play around with. I wanted to record. I wanted to create. I wanted to experience the world and capture the precious moments in life, and photography gave me the chance to do all that. Diving into the world of photography has been a slow process for me, and a very enjoyable one. I find myself loving this hobby more and more every day and immersing myself deeper into a whole new dimension, where everything is so new yet so…refreshing.

But then, photography does strange things to you.

It makes you look at a rock and think it is the most intricate thing in nature.

It makes you run around chasing a dragonfly for half an hour just to perfectly capture its beauty.

It makes you see reflections in the water in a different light.

It makes you feel alert to the sound of a scurrying chipmunk to estimate its next position, catching that mischievous little thing and winning in its own game of hide-and-seek.

It makes you find amusement in holes in leaves, rushing water current, and heart-shaped clouds.

It makes you notice your father’s aging eyes, observe your mother’s shrinking body, and marvel at your sister’s budding adolescence and sinking innocence.

It hones your patience, in the midst of much frustration.

It makes you appreciate the invisible and forgotten things in nature, every emotion shown on a stranger’s face, and all the neglected delicacies of everyday life.

It makes you realize your photography can never be “good enough”, and there’s always room for improvement, and thus pushing you to learn, learn more, learn some more, and learn even more.

There is certainly quite a learning curve involved in photography, but I wish to strive for the best and continue improving little by little with time. This week I went to Young’s Point – a hidden, unknown place near Peterborough – with my family as part of our annual fishing trip. Instead of fishing, I went around and took photos all day, even though I had been to the place at least 5 times before. It worked out as we only had three fishing rods anyway, so while my parents and my sisters fished, I spent some quality time with Mr.Nikon. The following is a small selection of the fruit of the day.

And yes, these pictures made me realize that I probably…okay, most likely would want to invest in a macro lens eventually…whenever that is. That’s another thing photography does to you…>_>

Intricate flower-like plant with many tiny sub-units (forgive my nerdiness, I cannot think of another suitable term for description) in its structure.

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Chinese new year!

It is belated, but happy Chinese new year!

On Saturday, February 5th, 2011, the Bordeaux Chinese Christian Fellowship organized a new year’s event in the form of a gospels gathering for the Chinese community of Bordeaux. The gathering took place at the new Cenon church and the flow of the event was as follows:

(1) Welcome and greeting
(2) Performance by worship team
(3) Testimony and sharing
(4) Message from pastor
(5) Response and benediction
(6) FOOD!

Weeks of preparation went into this event, and every brother and sister put in all of his/her effort into making the event a success and making our guests feel welcomed in the house of the Lord. I am still excited, three days later, when I think about that day when I experienced such joy and fulfillment…

With weekly worship team rehearsals and co-worker meetings during the entire month of January, I was beginning to feel like my work at fellowship is a full-time job rather than my PhD. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still doing fine and I haven’t neglected my responsibilities as a student. It just makes me feel so stress-relieved to be away from office politics and plunge into a family of love and comfort.

The event began at 11 o’clock in the morning, but with anticipation in our hearts, co-workers began their preparation at 8:30. Since our church just moved and the construction is not nearly complete at the new location, we weren’t left with great conditions to work with – no heat, no functional bathroom (there is a “chemical bathroom” and two public bathroom stalls nearby), and no structure. Great. It seemed like we had to start from nothing, didn’t it?

But God is amazing like that. He started us off with nothing and in the end, everything worked out. One couldn’t help but ask…what ISN’T possible?

I can only put a selected number of photos here but if you’re interested in seeing the full spectrum, feel free to visit the fellowship web site or Facebook.

Simple decorations, but the combination of red and yellow transformed an empty church into a bright haven. The set-up was rather delicate, in the that cross on the right was placed directly in front of a window pane. As the sun shone through, the two crosses gave off a yin-yang effect. Pretty neat. The centre of the stage would soon become a popular spot for after-event photo spree 😛

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