This article is a set of memories, belonging to the list of RMBATS.
From July, after I finished my master’s defense, I had been modifying my paper to try to publish it. It’s a long and boring time, which time I have to see the long papers and try to shorten it to a condensed version. So, in the head of this month, I do this paperwork every day with the hot summer weather. To against the summer, my friend and I started to sleep in the lab. Because the lab has an air-condition that we can let it open all night to keep low temperatures. It’s a funny period, my friend slept with the foldable bed he bought. I didn’t have that bed, so I put the chairs together and slept on them. I have to admit that it’s not a good place to sleep, we have to wake up early in case someone else finds us. Anyway, at least it’s cold enough, we can overcome any problems but the hot temperature at that time.
After the main tasks finished, the day I have to leave finally come to see me. It’s time to say goodbye to NEU, although I want to say that many times before that time. No feelings about sadness, but I felt that I hadn’t prepared for that. I knew that I have wasted too much time here, continue to stay here could help me nothing. So, on August 16, I asked my supervisor that I want to go, he didn’t try to keep me anymore. I left my university in that afternoon, and my two friends come to see me off. I arrived home at about 11:00 pm. It’s a remarkable day cause it’s my birthday and I farewelled to my school on this unique day.
A few days later, I started to prepare the materials needed for going abroad. The first thing I need to do is to submit the contract to the scholarship council office in Beijing. So, father and I spent almost one week in Beijing and visited many attractions and scenic areas. But, unfortunately, we didn’t buy a ticket to enter the Forbidden City. Of course, we climbed the Great Wall. In those days, we lived in different hotels every night, and one day, we lived near. Most of the time we take the subway and ride the shared bikes. I need to say that is a wonderful way to travel around Beijing with this kind of bikes, not too expensive, but you can go anywhere you want.
The time came to September, the longest summer vacation was coming. It could be more than three months, which means I need to stay at home for about 100 days. I supposed to finish many things, but actually, I wasted most of the time. The environment and atmosphere are not good for focusing. Sometimes, I watched TV all day and didn’t want to do anything. Generally speaking, it’s not a healthy period of time.
At the beginning of this month, I spent a lot of time to install the new router and build the new home network. Then, I tried to let my NAS work in the local network and connect it with the smart TV. The process was complex, I need to test them, then improve them. Finally, every component worked well. And with the DDNS service of Synology, I could let the whole system access to the Internet. Now, this system is still working very well. I can check and fix all problems with the remote connection, even though I stay on the other side of the earth!
Then, one interesting experience is that I joined an activity about assisting-poverty. People come from the local educational department went inside the countryside by themselves. With the stuff of rice, eating-oil or white flour, they can help these poor people try to get rid of poverty. This is a very meaningful and useful measure to help poverty, but the question is obvious. These things could help them through away the current hard time, but can’t have any benefits on their hard life in the long run. Anyway, it’s a good trend for poverty, maybe we could find a better way to help them.
At the end of September, I received the email to get the visa of the Netherlands from the embassy in Beijing. So, I came to Beijing again, after that, I came to Wuhan to meet my bachelor supervisor as I promised before. What I didn’t expect was that my classmate invited me to play together. So after leaving Wuhan, I went to Qinhuangdao with him and spent two days there. These things all happened before the National Day, the last week of September, which left me a deep impression. I met and talked with my supervisor again. I can’t imagine the uncertain way of my future we discussed last year incredible came true at that time. Although we shared a simple lunch together, we talked about many things. I can feel his happiness from his face. After saying goodbye to HZAU, I had a very enjoyable two days with my other friend. Then, I came to Tianjin right away and met with another friend in Qinhuangdao, and spent two days to visit Beidaihe.
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On the National Day, of course, I stayed at home and watched the celebration show on the TV. The main theme for this month is watching TV and eating with others. I spent some good days with much meaningful time shared with my family members. Eating lunch or dinner with them actually is a way to say goodbye. After all, I need to leave them for more than one year, which means we can’t see each other face to face anymore. As I have a big family, so I ate many times with them outside this month. Besides that, I also visited some local interesting place and took some beautiful photos. This is my first serious attempt to explore my hometown. I admit that I supposed to do that early, but only then did I discover the beauty of my hometown.
Since October, time passed very fast, and every day I worried about the coming of the day I need to leave. When the time came to November, I prepared everything and wait the final day. On November 6, I spent the last night at home, I have forgotten the feelings but that was definitely a hard time for me. Although it likes a normal leaving from home, I knew this time I would leave for a long time. The fight was not feeling well cause it covered the whole sleeping time. After solving some troubles, I finally arrived in the Netherlands. I finally touched the ground far away from my home. Not have too many strange feelings, I adapt to the foreign environment very quickly. With the help of an elder friend from Eindhoven, I came to my hostel smoothly. I surprised that it just about one hour from Amsterdam to Utrecht by car.
In the start days, I suffered from the time difference, I spent a long time to adjust the sleeping time. Now I have fully adapted the life here. The most important thing then was the meeting with my supervisor. Before that, we didn’t meet each other, so it was nervous when I first met him, but he is a nice person and a good guide man. Actually we talked a lot, and he told me a lot of related things I need to learn. Then the long time of self-study came, till now, I still in the first step. Alex, my supervisor, said my horizon of this area could extend bigger and bigger, but I need to start from the smallest circle. This is a big difference compared with the speed of study in China.
This month, the first remarkable time was to visit my friend in Eindhoven. The friend and I all come from the same place in China so that she is almost like a relative for me. We had a warmful dinner time and took part in the GLOW 2019 lighting show together. One week later, I followed my colleagues to come to Groningen to meet with some other friends. They are all my supervisor’s Ph.D. candidates. Because Alex worked in Groningen before, so some of his students still lived there, not moved to Utrecht with him. We ate hot-pot and played a table game together. What a good time! I even first meet a friend come from Taiwan, she is a nice girl and study in Groningen for her master degree. Compared with Utrecht, I like Groningen more, because of the low housing rent and the low cost of living.
After Black Friday, I spent one week to pick up my delivery. At the end of the first week of December, I received them all, then I started to build my own mini-ITX computer. Now, the machine works very well, and thanks to the small pc, I can get rid of the feeling of alone. After the half of this month, people slow down to prepare the Christmas day and the New year. Although we Chinese don’t care about these two festivals too much, we still happy to join the different activities for them. I joined the final borrel drinks party of my faculty. And also joined the Christmas party of the Chinese Utrecht Christian Church. Besides, we Chinese colleagues also spent some special party, like making dumplings together in the winter solstice. And these days, I also developed a good relationship with my hoster, a nice man comes from Pakistan. He invited me to his home and I had a wonderful daytime with him and his son. What’s more, I also made some Chinese friends here, Mr. Wei and Ms. Wang are a Chinese couple here. I came to their home and ate dinner together many times. It’s Ms. Wang who takes me to the church activity, and then we visit the Castle De Haar by bike. I took some photos of her using my camera, she liked them very much. The other Chinese is the owner of a Chinese restaurant, I went to their restaurant to eat dinner for many times. One of her friends is a researcher from Maastricht University, we talked a lot about life and study.
Today is December 31, the last day of 2019, I will go to Eindhoven by train to attend the party. Tomorrow is no difference between today, but, it is a truly time point to have a new start. New beginning needs old ending. A good summary and review of the past are essential for a new and bright future. Try to do that, discover and explore yourself!
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