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 The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 1-4, 6&7

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clarisetan
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PostSubject: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 1-4, 6&7   Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:30 am

Chapter 1

Translated by nastyhobbit@AF

[Rough Translations]


Time is like a lullaby watching over you, it makes you inadvertently forget what you were laughing or crying about, as well as remind you to cherish what you have. The six years of studying in Vancouver turned me from a fun-loving YiJu Chen (*he used his real name 陳奕儒) who knew nothing of the world to a responsible and independent Calvin Chen (*he used his stage name 辰亦儒) who embraces the world.


Note:
Before learning I had to go to 溫哥華 to study, to tell the truth, I only knew it from the geography textbook with its English name “Vancouver”, I knew it’s in Canada’s southwest and it’s its third largest city, it’s the main residence city of ethnic Chinese in Canada, and that its climate is moderate with a lot of rain. Apart from these, what else did I know? I only knew in the coming years, while peacefully living in it, as I have come to understand it, and fall in love with it.



In life, some journeys are very different, they are engraved in your mind forever. For a long time, you already think you have forgotten. But when you pass a certain street, or hear a certain sound, the memories come surging back, something like popcorn coming out of a microwave oven, you make a small tear on the package and at once the hidden aroma comes out to permeate the entire room.

Just like tonight, as I was sitting in Taoyuan airport’s departure lounge, I saw tourists pulling their luggage, passing by me, I heard the familiar airport broadcast, even as my skin sensed the departure lounge’s perpetually cold air-conditioning and low temperature, I couldn’t help but recall that night, like it was a show staged in this very airport…

It was September 7, 1998, one of the most important dates in my life.

That night, I flew from Taiwan to Canada, across 5975 kilometers, starting the 6 years of student life in Vancouver. That night, Mama, Grandma and Auntie all went to the airport to send me off. Seeing them crying until their eyes turned red, I who hadn’t seen much of the world, was infected by the mood at the departure gate, and immediately had tears flowing from my eyes.

As I pulled my luggage towards the departure gate, I started to imagine what Vancouver would be like. I had heard that Canada is maple leaf country, so did that mean that all of Vancouver’s streets were full of maple trees?

I who had always up to that time lived under my parents’ wings, finally carried out my new independent life. Did this mean that from now on, even if I stayed up late, nobody will mind me? If I continuously watched TV, nobody will scold me? Even more, was Vancouver the “Garden of the Peaches of Immortality” that they said it was? When I live there, will I learn English automatically? Why does everyone want to send their children abroad to study? Is the moon abroad more round?

That year I was only 17 years old, to be sent abroad because my university exam results were very bad. After I passed the exams for Jianzhong, I started to play around, joined a lot of clubs and met a lot of friends, enjoyed the freedom of school life in Jianzhong. But the painful consequence of partying hard was the university exam results that were too horrible to endure. My father was so angry at the time, he thought that I was only intent on playing around, that even if I took the exams the following year I might not get better results. So he decided to send me abroad.

Although I had thought that grades weren’t sufficient to evaluate a person’s future success, it’s too arbitrary, but my father decided to send me to a place where there aren’t too many distractions, so I can concentrate on studying and learning the language. I made a supreme effort to resist, but it wasn’t enough to lead to a revolution.

The person I was at the time merely did not understand why my father would want to send me to such a faraway place, all by myself, with no one to rely on. Until I lived alone and learned independence, felt the culture shock and opened my eyes, only then did I understand my father’s intent. Just think! Is there any man who would callously send his child abroad to wander aimlessly? The child will bear hardships abroad, but the parents in Taiwan will also cry at home.

It just so happens, my best friend from primary school, Shawn, and his whole family migrated to Vancouver, so my parents decided to send me to live with his family as a home stay, thereupon starting my road to be a foreign student.

Before going abroad, it was also my parents’ plan to enroll me in language school. I only knew that Shawn’s home was near a school that offered language courses for foreigners, so for convenience’s sake, I also enrolled in this private Christian school. I only learned later that it was called Trinity Western University, where the teaching style was very conservative and extremely strict. By that time, I had corrected my previous party-hard attitude, thinking of my parents who were sending their hard-earned money to have me study abroad. I resolved to study well, and I had straight A’s every semester. A year later, I applied for one of Vancouver’s institutions for higher education, Simon Fraser University, and likewise graduated with excellent grades. With my professors’ recommendations, I applied to the University of Victoria’s Department of Economics.

All these were quite unexpected for me. Because I didn’t think that the six years of studying would so greatly influence and change me. It made me turn from a fun-loving YiJu Chen who was ignorant of the world into a responsible and independent Calvin Chen who embraced the whole world.

I remember the time I left Taiwan, the most important things in life for me were studying and taking exams. But experiencing life in Canada made me see the world is so much bigger than this. Of course studying is a student’s duty. But aside from this duty, we also have to care for each other, care for the environment and all living things on Earth. Aside from this, the person I was before going abroad didn’t understand things, I always quarreled with my family. After my baptism as a foreign student, I learned to understand and cherish my parents’ care and love, and found a balance in my relationship with my family. Being able to study in such a multicultural and open-minded environment is my good fortune. Not only did I learn to respect others, I also trained myself to be more independent.

I’ve always wanted to share these six treasured years with everyone, not only to make the fans who have supported me know me better, to know the journey that Calvin walked through, but also to communicate with friends who also want to study abroad, and let them understand more or less how it is to eat, dress, live, behave, relax and have fun when studying abroad. And most important of all, I very much hope to promote Canadian values to others, letting even more people learn their diligence, conscientiousness, tolerance and multiculturalism.

So in the spring of 2011, I finally once again stepped on this land, when the landscape is beautiful with the first melting of snow, and returned to Vancouver’s embrace. Even though there was the sense that “the flowers remain the same year after year, while people change year by year”, but my heart was still moved. Because this was not just the place where I became a man, it was also the place that cultivated my career as a performer.

I once believed that memories buried in the depths of the mind were like filmstrips slowly unfolding. Yes, I’m back, I came back to the most unforgettable memories in my mind. Through this reverse journey, I want to retrieve bit by bit all that was good and touching. Even though I’m now at the airport waiting, I still felt the indescribable shock of the memories come flooding back, of that emotionally moving time…

The journey time is about to take off, and then, what will be waiting for me in some street corner both familiar and unfamiliar?

=========
I don't own this article so kindly give full credits to the owner. thanks Smile

_________________


飛輪海真的是四個人的團體。飛輪海不管這麼樣就是四個人我們不加多也不減少。
那時候, 其實我們跟公司簽合約就已經說好,就是飛輪海就是這四個人,就是這四個人呈現出完整的飛輪海,對,不多也不少。
✰陳亦儒(飛輪海 首張同名專輯)



Last edited by clarisetan on Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 2 - First look at Vancouver   Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:35 am

The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen
Chapter 2 - First look at Vancouver

Translated by nastyhobbit@AF

[Rough Translations]


If you describe Vancouver like you would a person, I think Vancouver should be at the prime of its life. Modern, intelligent, understands how to treat people with respect, and able to show concern towards this world.

As far as my first impressions of the city goes, it was like when the plane touched down that first time, and I raised the cabin windows, it was like a scene from the beginning of life, sunshine passed through layers of cloud to illuminate all below, and it looked perfect.


My first impression of Vancouver was – the air is so nice! The horizon is vast, the place is so huge, and so clean!

I went down the plane and went through immigration, then I saw my good friend Shawn standing in the crowd waiting for me, only then I truly felt that I was in a foreign country, thousands of kilometers away from my family in Taiwan.

He, who hadn’t seen me for many years, gave me a big smile, and the jetlag and anxiety suddenly disappeared. Shawn wanted to leave immediately and go back to his place, but first we passed by Vancouver’s business district. I even remember the first shop where Shawn took me was in Richmond’s Yaohan Center, to buy records. And so I saw for myself the legendary ethnic Chinese stronghold of Golden Village. Aside from the Taiwanese-owned Yaohan Center, there was also Aberdeen Center and Parker Place, as well as Richmond Center. Several shopping centers were right next to each other, it’s quite fun!

Vancouver’s residential and business districts are separate; quite different from Taiwan. There are no 7-11 stores at the street corners of residential areas, nor dan-tsu noodle vendors. As far as the eye could see were emerald green trees lining the streets and people leisurely walking down these streets. Many houses in the residential districts are bungalows and villas. You only find high-rise apartment buildings downtown.

You drive a car on wide roads, with only a few random cars, and everyone is extremely polite. That year that I was about to start studying abroad, when I arrived in Vancouver it was exactly September, with clear autumn weather. The cloudless blue skies made me feel very optimistic and worry-free.

A lot of shops’ signs were written in Chinese, pedestrians had Chinese-looking faces, giving me that sense of familiarity. It’s no wonder that many people consider Vancouver as a first-choice retirement home. After all, the ethnic Chinese population is high, many aspects of living aren’t too different from home. Facilities and welfare benefits are good, so over the years it has developed a reputation for being a retirement city for ethnic Chinese. So with this kind of familiar feeling, I almost forgot I was “banished” by my father to this place. There were instances, when I saw ethnic Chinese faces mostly and with the sporadic Caucasian face, that I thought I was just strolling in Taipei’s Tianmu.

Then later Shawn took me to downtown Vancouver to feel that Vancouver flavor. I saw in the booming city center, not only the busy movement of commerce in Robson Street very similar to Taipei’s east district, but also the peaceful atmosphere of blue skies and white clouds when you look up from below skyscrapers. This is very different from Taipei. The scattered buildings don’t make you feel the congestion, but instead you feel each has its own space, very peaceful.

Vancouver is also an international city, different ethnic groups from all over the world came here to rebuild their homes and put down their roots. Later generations of these immigrants lived and grew together harmoniously. This is credited to Canada’s government, whose constitution’s provisions do not allow discrimination in words and deeds, making Canadians accept each culture’s customs. Whether it is in school or in daily life, everyone is used to being with people of different ethnicity. They tolerate each other’s differences and similarities, and respect every ethnic group’s culture.

I remember there was an interview where someone asked me to describe Vancouver in three adjectives. At that time, I said, “modern, multicultural, diverse” without any hesitation. Vancouver is actually a very new city but it has advanced like other developed cities. But it didn’t result in excessive commercialization, air and water quality haven’t deteriorated, everywhere there’s still a lot of green, and the city’s residents are very friendly. Here you can see hardworking people, you can sense their dedication to their work, this is really very rare! A city that’s still advancing, it’s hard to avoid sacrificing environmental protection and preserving its open spaces for the sake of progress, but Vancouver didn’t trade them off. That advancement of commerce and environmental protection can proceed in parallel, makes everyone who come here unable to help but praise the city.


Note 1:
Richmond
Although Vancouver is a major city of choice for ethnic Chinese, but the area would have different names because it’s populated by people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. For instance, Richmond is also known as “里士满” or the homophone of “Gateway to Riches and Honor”.

Richmond is very close to Vancouver international airport, about half an hour’s drive from the city center. So even though it wasn’t developed in its early years, but following an increase in migration and the tight associations of the ethnic Chinese running their businesses as one, Richmond has become “a salted fish that came back from the dead”.

Actually everyone shouldn’t be strangers to Richmond. Because it was the set location of many a Hollywood production, such as “Smallville”, “A Scary Movie”, etc. The airport scenes in “Final Destination” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” were filmed in Vancouver International Airport.


Note 2:
Vancouver not only has advanced scientific research and banking industry, but it’s also the world’s most environment-friendly city. So you can describe it using the idiom “couple strength with gentleness”.

In the early days, this area’s indigenous peoples also received proper consideration. All over the city, you can see the indigenous peoples’ totem carvings and art on display. Gastown and Yaletown’s modern yuppie style is also very remarkable, similar to the city’s specially pungent spice sprinkling people’s lives.



========
I don't own this so kindly give full credits to the owner of the article

_________________


飛輪海真的是四個人的團體。飛輪海不管這麼樣就是四個人我們不加多也不減少。
那時候, 其實我們跟公司簽合約就已經說好,就是飛輪海就是這四個人,就是這四個人呈現出完整的飛輪海,對,不多也不少。
✰陳亦儒(飛輪海 首張同名專輯)

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PostSubject: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 3 - Unfinished eighth class   Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:57 am

The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen
Chapter 3 - Unfinished eighth class

Translated by nastyhobbit@AF

[Rough Translations]


Canada is maple leaf country, studying here is like the air, similarly fresh and clean, similarly free.

My experience as a foreign student in Vancouver changed my attitude, as you can choose the field of study that you like, in much the same way that you should have the power to choose your own life. My learning became even more active, and my perspective became even wider!


The bus sped on the tree-lined Highway 1, as the sunshine spilling on the treetops shows the luster of early-morning dewdrops.

In my early days in Vancouver, each day I attended language class at Trinity Western University. The education I received in Taiwan was very standard, mostly the teacher would be spilling saliva in front, but the students would be sleeping. I think this kind of teaching with very little interaction you learn very little. But in Vancouver, the atmosphere in class is very open, the teachers encourage the students to speak out, which is very different from the method of teaching in Taiwan.

At the start, the teacher would group four people together to discuss a topic together and then to make a report about it. On one hand, it trains our teamwork, and discussing amongst ourselves trains our speaking abilities. On the other hand, reporting as a group lightens the pressure of public speaking, gives us strength in numbers. So from four in a group to two in a group, the teacher finally trains everyone to speak unaccompanied, calmly completing a 20-minute presentation. This training I had became important later on in my showbiz career, especially the style of speaking publicly.

And also, during this period of time, I had the opportunity to come in contact with students from all over the world. Each and every one of us had different social norms, different cultures, and different values. After a long time of being with them, I learned to respect the differences between our cultures, and learned to appreciate them. That time, for me, was very special, and I made a lot of friends. And later, these friends turned into my most loyal fans from all over the world. When I had performances in different cities, these friends would come to root for me, not only so we can talk about old times, but also to introduce me to the local scene, making me able to quickly assimilate into the local culture.

After taking English courses for a year, I applied for the economics program in Simon Fraser University. The field of economics is vast, from the trivial things you encounter in life to the economic policies of each country. As far as changing my choice from medicine to economics is concerned, I think of it as something fresh, much like how Granny Liu entered the Grand View Garden in “Dream of the Red Chamber”. And because I escaped the force feeding way of teaching when I studied abroad, my learning abilities similarly opened a new page.

The academic atmosphere in Simon Fraser University is very free, and encourages its students to try out many things, and there were hardly any restrictions on the electives one can take. Students studying here all automatically get premature grey hairs, as in the first year alone they think they can take so many courses. So long as the schedules don’t clash, students can freely pick any subject they want to take. At the start of their second year, undergrads will choose their major and minor subjects. Since this is the student’s own decision, often the choice will be in line with the student’s personality, interest and preference, and as a result everyone studies very enthusiastically. After the major and minor subjects, each and every one of the students look like they’re playing powerful engines progressing at lightning speed. I think this is the reason everyone is so driven, this is their “motivation for learning”!

I remember a classmate once told me, “Because I’m very interested in this subject, even if I stay up late studying, I never feel tired!” What he said was correct, so long as you find the thing you truly love, it’s worth the hard work. And as I was in this competitive atmosphere, I threw myself into economics, after class I also formed a study group, where we would discuss ideas and the topics we hadn’t finished in class. I also credit the school’s administration, that I had the opportunity to take special classes like linguistics and geography. What we studied in linguistics class were each language’s pronunciation rules, grammar and vocabulary. Learning a second language, for me was very useful. Aside from this, it also made me break away from the previous hindrance of “knowing but not knowing why”, and I systematically and effectively learned the language. Geography was very interesting. Our teacher had a very lively way to explain Canada’s geography and climate. For me whose head was buried all day long in economics, this was very refreshing and exciting! The most interesting was, me and my group members went on a field trip to Granville Island’s ceramics factory to conduct a survey, and using what we learned there to make a report for class.

From a certain perspective, Canada’s institutions of higher education (undergraduate and graduate) can be described as “wide door, narrow road”; although it’s not difficult to get in, if you want to graduate, you need to make a lot of effort. Luckily, I got pretty good grades at SFU, and at the same time applied for the University of Victoria’s graduate program in economics. University of Victoria campus is located in the remote Victoria Island. You would have to take a ferry to get back to mainland Vancouver. So if I wanted to spend weekends with friends downtown, I’d have to take a two-hour boat ride. Going from Victoria Island to Vancouver, it’s like going from a sleepy retirement home to the bright lights of the metropolis. Usually I just sleep during the ferry ride and wake up when it’s about to reach the port, at which time I catch sight of Vancouver’s brilliant lights. It’s such an unusual contrast.

But even though the infrequent trips lessened my interactions with friends, instead I concentrated even more in my studies during grad school, and I was able to finish my courses within ten months. Grad school professors’ style of teaching focused more on discussions and interactions with their students, and making presentations in front of class was quite commonplace.

At this time, I also applied to be a teaching assistant, being responsible for teaching “History of Economic Development” to more than a hundred undergrads. The night before my first lecture in front of that many people, I was too nervous to sleep. Especially as English wasn’t my native language, I could only rack my brains for ways to make the lecture more lively and interesting. Fortunately, the students’ reactions weren’t too bad, making my next lectures go more smoothly. From practicing my lectures, I grew in courage, and my style of teaching became even steadier.

These diverse academic exposures enriched my process of learning, letting me know that the things I’ve learned can also be used in everyday life. As I was able to completely understand this, I had even more motivation to study.

Later on, when someone asks me what would I do if I weren’t an artist? I always remember this time in Canada and then promptly reply, “I think I would go back to being a student. Because I love studying, and I enjoy learning about the things that give me joy!”


Note 1:
Choosing economics as my major, the main reason was I had always been interested in economics. On the other hand, studying economics would be very helpful in getting a job in the future; you can say it’s a very practical field of study.

However when I was in high school, I was instead in the section of students gearing towards a future career in medicine. So in those days that I just started studying economics, I was practically carrying a dictionary the whole time, checking definitions of terms. On top of that it was entirely in English, so it was really difficult in the beginning. Other people took two hours to research information, while I spent not half a day but a whole day, repeatedly confirming my facts before I continued. Because if I didn’t have good basic knowledge, then the next steps would have been very difficult indeed.


Note 2:
The ideologies of teaching in Canada and in Asia are very different. During primary school in Canada, school pressure isn’t very heavy. At this stage, in order to encourage multi-faceted learning in students, they go to summer camp, join clubs, participate in team sports, and other outdoor forms of education. After finishing high school, they can choose to go to vocational schools where they can enhance their skills. Some people even immediately get jobs straight out of high school, only learning the skills as they do them in the workplace.

In case you choose to go to university, then you’re saying that you “mean business”. Because at this point, the classes the high school will give you will become very advanced all of a sudden. So you must give it a lot of thought. The counterpart, the school also encourages students to do a lot of discussions and research, bringing out that academic spark in the students.


=====
I don't own this article so kindly give full credits to the owner when reposting

_________________


飛輪海真的是四個人的團體。飛輪海不管這麼樣就是四個人我們不加多也不減少。
那時候, 其實我們跟公司簽合約就已經說好,就是飛輪海就是這四個人,就是這四個人呈現出完整的飛輪海,對,不多也不少。
✰陳亦儒(飛輪海 首張同名專輯)



Last edited by clarisetan on Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 4 - Four-square-meter stage   Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:06 am

Chapter 4
Four-square-meter stage

translations by nastyhobbit@AF

[Rough Translations]


Every student studying abroad knows how to maximize a limited amount of space, as accommodation is a big issue.

My student life, because I tried living in a homestay, dormitory and apartment, step by step, made me become more independent. And at the same time, I got to experience different lifestyles.


Having lived in Taiwan my whole life, I really didn’t know other countries were so big! I had previously thought that going from Taipei’s Beitou to Panchiao is already a great distance. But coming to Vancouver, you will discover that although Taiwan is relatively small country but because of its high population density, the way of life is very convenient. At the opposite pole, Vancouver is Canada’s third largest city, but because the area is vast, going from one place to another takes a lot of patience, the distance from one point to the next can’t be measured by 10-minute intervals, at the very least, it should be 30-minute ones!

The first place I lived in, with Shawn’s family, was arranged by my parents. And I had to go by bus to get to my language classes at Trinity Western University. I still remember the time I went down the plane, Shawn was there to pick me up, and as the car left Vancouver, I was very excited about what I saw of Vancouver! Tall buildings weren’t crowded together, but you can see the extent of local development. After that, tall buildings became smaller ones, we were probably already in the suburbs. Just like what I saw in foreign films, I had thought we should arrive quickly at Shawn’s home!

I didn’t expect that we had to drive for an hour, and the scenery outside my window changed from gray concrete buildings to lush green pastures where there were more cows than people! I finally asked Shawn, “Didn’t you say your home was in Vancouver? Then why are we driving farther and farther from the city?” I only learned later that Shawn’s home was in Langley, a town still in the Greater Vancouver Area, about an hour’s drive from the city center.

Note 1:
Langley, located southeast of Vancouver, is a small agricultural town. The learning environment here is very good, because there aren’t a lot of distractions. No internet cafes, no cable TV, and most of all not too many Chinese mafias. On holidays, me and 3-5 friends would drive around town and to eat or go shopping. Other times we would just be absorbed in our English language classes at Trinity Western University.


Homestay (*living with a host family) is what most foreign students choose as their accommodation at the start. Because in the beginning you’re not very familiar with the place, but living with local families who have been there for many years, not only do you save yourself from having to look for an apartment, paying for utilities, or having to familiarize yourself with the area, but also some families offer three meals included. So students, who live far from home, have a chance to taste their hometown’s flavor. And with your homestay dad and homestay mom’s guidance, you slowly get used to the new environment.

When I arrived in Vancouver, I first lived with Shawn’s parents’ home stay. At that time, they only accepted male students. Not only were the guys not allowed to take girls home, but they also enforced a curfew at 12 midnight. But of course the students had ways to get around these rules; sometimes my roommate’s girlfriend would sneak inside from the bedroom window. Thinking about it now, those homestay days gave me a lot of cherished memories! Haha!

Additionally, I also have to mention that during that first year in Vancouver, I didn’t have my own car, so I could only take public transport. When I had to go to school in the morning, I had to take the alley that goes to the bus stop, going through a forest. Until today, this route is engraved in my mind. Because the neighborhood is quite remote, it was especially tough during wintertime, when you had to brave the cold wind to walk there, going past trees with withered leaves in the frigid forest, and you’re curled up shivering waiting at the bus stop. I remember it took about 40 minutes to reach the school, so if I missed the bus, I would already be late for my first class.

But this wasn’t the most wretched thing. What was most terrifying was when I had to return home. Because Vancouver’s latitude is very northern, the winter sun sets quite early. So when I had to return home by bus, it was already dark. Walking through that alley in the forest that had no street lights whatsoever, I could only rely on the weak moonlight, if there was any. Amidst flickering shadows reminiscent of horror movies, I returned home walking briskly. Those days I had to walk through the “evil forest” were unforgettable, every time I remember it, I can’t help but shiver. It’s the most unforgettable episode in my life as a foreign student in Vancouver.

The following year’s summer, my mother flew to Vancouver to visit me. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time, so when she saw me she asked how I got so thin, told me I wasn’t taking care of myself, and also asked a lot of questions about school. But I discovered, those hardships I felt when I first came to Vancouver, I couldn’t voice them out at that time, because I knew that enduring that first year made me more independent, I no longer needed my mother to worry about me. But I did have something I asked her help with – my commuting problems! Hahaha!

She found out that not having a car was a really big inconvenience. And in the end she allowed me to drive a car in Vancouver. So during that second year when I finished my language classes and entered Simon Fraser University, I started to enjoy a carefree life driving a car? No, it was the start of my independent life.

Even though I was living in a homestay while I took language classes at Trinity Western University, but when I didn’t have classes I would go to the dormitories on campus to visit classmates. Even though the dorm space wasn’t very big, everyone huddled together chatting made for a lively and comfortable environment. In particular, the social hall was the place to meet new friends. Sometimes people would sit in front of the fire chatting intimately, or talk about exams and take out their books to start a small study group. Everyone would be in two’s or three’s. Whether some random person would just take out a guitar and start playing for everyone, or people would come in to take afternoon tea, these are those contented and comfortable memories on campus!

When I entered Simon Fraser University, I opted to live on campus. SFU’s dorms were had many kinds of arrangements, which was quite considerate! The most common rooms were the ones for two persons. Of course there were also single rooms and even family rooms that allowed married students to bring their families with them. In the double rooms, how did one pick who roomed with whom? That was decided by the school administration! It was basically a random selection. My roommate at the time was Korean and we got along quite well. He was always dragging me to eat Korean food, and he would share Korean culture and popular trends. Of course I reciprocated; apart from teaching him some practical Chinese, whenever I went out to eat at Chinese restaurants I wouldn’t forget to take him as well. Although we only communicated in English, but I think so long as people are sincere, friendship knows no national boundaries.

In my third year in Vancouver, my cousins Ed and Freda also came to Vancouver to study, so the three of us rented an apartment at the foot of Burnaby Mountain, at the top of which the SFU campus was located, and I began another kind of accommodation experience.

Even though at this point, I was no longer called a FOB (fresh off the boat), but living in an apartment was too different from living in a homestay. Apart from having to do the repairs yourself, pay for every expense, and choose your own furniture, I also had to do the job of taking care of two underage cousins. This was, as far as I was concerned, a very different learning experience. I discovered that I became even more independent, any problem that happened I had to calmly think of a solution, and not blindly rely on someone else for it.

When I was in Taiwan, if the sky fell down, my parents would inevitably block it from falling on me. But abroad, I had no choice but rely on myself to think of a way to handle matters. In this way, this solution-finding exercise influenced me a lot, even saying that it completely transformed my life. Whenever I encountered some emergency, I won’t be flustered or be at a complete loss at what to do. I mastered the art of cool-headedly thinking of ways how to solve problems. Even if I needed outside help, I still didn’t look like a headless housefly aimlessly buzzing about.

When I was in Taiwan, I’ve never shopped in IKEA, as choosing home furnishings was apparently none of my business. But after arriving in Vancouver, choosing and buying furniture made me truly learn a lesson. Excluding economic considerations, when choosing furniture, you also have to think about overall design consistency. At that time, I browsed through many a home decorating magazine, and found the style I liked. Just as I see what kind of furniture I want to buy, I always think about each piece’s design aesthetic. Then I gradually mastered comparing and choosing. If the price on the furniture shop was too expensive, I’d check the hypermarkets or wholesale supermarkets if they have a similar piece that’s cheaper.

Note 2:
Shopping here, especially in large quantities, is truly a learning experience. The best way would be to drive yourself so you can transport the stuff yourself. Additionally, Vancouver has value-added tax! In other words, on top of the price on the tag, you have to add 12% in taxes! If you have the opportunity, don’t buy just from looking at the price on the tag. First add the tax, and then you can compare the prices to make sure.


I have a lot of special experiences in my life as a foreign student. There’s no shortage of things that I haven’t experienced in Taiwan, some of which I had worried about before going abroad. Just like there was a time when I encountered an incident that I thought only happened in movies, like a bank robbery! Once when I went to the bank to make transactions, I unexpectedly encountered a bank robbery. There were three bad guys, one was at the door acting as the lookout, another was screaming at everyone to go down on the floor, and the third one was at the counter taking money. Everyone was so scared, and could only obediently get down on the floor, I remember my mouth was almost kissing the floor. Luckily I was far away from the robbers, and after they took the money they made their getaway, leaving behind a group of people with lingering fear. That experience was such a thriller, definitely another unforgettable experience of my life in Vancouver.

In addition to this, there was also the time the kitchen sink got clogged. At first I wanted to ask a plumber to handle it, but plumbers abroad have high fees. Basically in developed countries in Europe and North America, the cost of labor is so much higher than in Taiwan. Finally I just went to the supermarket and bought a plunger and some Drano to deal with the clog myself.

Another incident had something to do with carpets. At that time we had just signed a new contract with the landlord, and there was one provision that when the time comes we have to give back the apartment, the carpet has to be spotless. But this was really difficult, since it’s hard to avoid drinks or coffee from not spilling. I wanted to hire a cleaning company specializing in cleaning carpets to do the job, but when foreign students ask they don’t really come. So I used my imagination and bought a chemical detergent, and checked if it’s possible to remove the red wine stains on the carpet. But the eventual facts proved how naive I was. In the end I had to obediently pay the landlord!

Remembering it all now, choosing a form of accommodation is a big deal for foreign students. After all, a good living environment can have a positive influence on the student. Aside from suitable space, there’s also the roommate, the neighborhood and other factors that make a big effect. Through caring for the home, choosing and organizing, I also gradually found my own taste, my own vision in interior design. In that four-square-meter room, I started to develop my own little universe, slowly started to pile up the lifestyle I wanted for my future. Perhaps this was an unexpected added value to moving around like Mencius’s mother moved him three times to give him the best education!

Note 3:
Those few years in Vancouver, I experienced living in a homestay, a dorm and sharing an apartment. So I can say I have a lot of experience when it comes to accommodation. Actually, different accommodation options have their own pros and cons. No one option is all good or all bad. For instance, living in a dorm would give you a lot of interaction with other students, but you don’t have a lot of privacy. Having the care of your homestay mom and homestay dad will save you a lot of troubles, but you don’t have a lot of freedom. Renting an apartment sounds very fine, but having to clean it up regularly is very exhausting, not to mention having to pay for utilities and maintenance. I was fortunate enough to have experienced all three, and I’ve also experienced having to move house, organizing a moving van and some DIY moving boxes, packing has become absolutely fast and orderly.


========
I don't own this article so kindly give full credits to the owner when reposting

_________________


飛輪海真的是四個人的團體。飛輪海不管這麼樣就是四個人我們不加多也不減少。
那時候, 其實我們跟公司簽合約就已經說好,就是飛輪海就是這四個人,就是這四個人呈現出完整的飛輪海,對,不多也不少。
✰陳亦儒(飛輪海 首張同名專輯)

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PostSubject: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 6 - Start off! Youth support group   Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:25 am

Chapter 6
Start off! Youth support group

Translations by nastyhobbit@AF

[Rough Translations]


After breaking away from the so-called “fresh off the boat” label, I got used to life in Vancouver more and more. Aside from being a good boy and doing well with schoolwork, I also became more and more adept at all aspects of life as a foreign student.

I’m also a person who keeps himself busy, doing all kinds of things in school and everyday life. As I got used to life, I decided to challenge myself at something different – part-time work.


A person studying abroad already worries a lot about living expenses. Although I wasn’t too worried on this part, but I also wanted to experience new things.

When I started to do part-time jobs, I decided to start in an already familiar environment, i.e., on campus part-time jobs. Simon Fraser University’s international student association suggested I do some library work. Most people, when they think of library work, they would think it’s something very relaxed. After all, it isn’t hard labor. So long as you take down notes and have a lot of patience, you’ll do very well.

Library staff have several jobs. There’s a supervisor who arranges who does what; usually every month we rotate jobs. Sometimes I would be at the front desk sticking barcodes on books, sometimes I would shelf returned books to their proper places, sometimes I would be patrolling on different floors checking that the students aren’t macking a ruckus or violating any school rules. Among these, the one I love the most is putting books on the shelves according to how they were catalogued. Whenever I was pushing the library’s trolley and returning the books to their original places, I would have this inexpressible sense of accomplishment.

Ever since I was little, I loved reading. When I was preparing to take my entrance exams, I was always in the library reading. This building full of literary treasures is very dear to me, it’s a place where I completely feel at ease. Whenever I walked along the library’s long corridors, on both sides rows upon rows of books, I can’t help but praise the vastness of intellectual knowledge.

During the time I was in University of Victoria’s grad school, it goes without saying that I also applied for library work. But my professor gave me an even more difficult task – being a university teaching assistant teaching second year “History of Economic Development”.After I happily accepted this post, each week I’d spend a lot of time preparing the course content, carefully studying all the information I’d previously learned, thinking of ways to systematically impart economic development’s history to undergrads.

When I had just started, I was very nervous, I didn’t know where to start preparing. After all, English was not my first language, and I had to use fluent English to more than a hundred students during the entire lecture, so I really needed a lot of courage. Luckily the undergrads were very supportive, not only taking the initiative to recite in class, but also discussing some definitions of terms with me after class. As much as possible I made the lectures very vivid, also specially practicing a couple of jokes so I won’t make the audience go looking to “play chess with the Duke of Zhou” (sleep), hahaha! (*Corina’s note: The Duke of Zhou is also the “God of Dreams”, whenever an important thing is going to happen, he would let that person know by appearing in his dreams. So when people are sleeping they meet the Duke of Zhou, play chess with the Duke of Zhou, go fishing with the Duke of Zhou, etc.)

Aside from doing part-time work on campus, I also worked at a car wash. Canada’s car wash service comes in two options: do it yourself or have it done by a car wash boy. When people drive their cars to the car wash, the workers will wash the car according to standard procedure. First comes the rinse with clear water, using the hose to remove dirt from the car surface. Next comes the washing, i.e., make the car go through a “bubble bath”, wait til it’s finished and then rinse the detergent away with clear water. Finally comes the drying, in which the staff uses a powerful wind machine to dry off the water from the surface of the car, and then again wiped dry with a cloth. Usually at this time, the customer will decide whether to add an extra waxing service. If the customer requests waxing, then we would wax the car. The steps shown above seem so simple, but actually from the start to the finish, we spend a lot of physical effort. Especially on weekends, or the first day of holidays, the car wash would be filled with cars from everywhere, waiting for their “shower”. I didn’t need to do push-ups to train my muscles!

Even though working part-time is very interesting, but sometimes one can forget the first obligation to actually study. Only if you have some extra time and energy can you do this. Although I wasn’t the type likely to worry about my parents’ urgings, but once in a while I’d think of my parents shouldering my cost of living as a foreign student, and there’s always this wish that someday I can succeed quickly, in order to share the responsibility with them. As a result, I worked hard with my courses, and after my grades were somewhat okay and then I still had time, I experienced the real world by working part-time. After finishing school, the self-discipline that was left behind from different kinds of part-time work experience, and they all gave me a lot of courage, especially when I joined the competition, and took the opportunity to enter showbiz.

======
I don't own this article so kindly give full credits to the owner when reposting..

you might notice that there is no chapter 5, well according to nastyhobbit@AF it is most likely about just more or less a list of malls and shopping centers in the Vancouver area and what they look like.


_________________


飛輪海真的是四個人的團體。飛輪海不管這麼樣就是四個人我們不加多也不減少。
那時候, 其實我們跟公司簽合約就已經說好,就是飛輪海就是這四個人,就是這四個人呈現出完整的飛輪海,對,不多也不少。
✰陳亦儒(飛輪海 首張同名專輯)

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PostSubject: Re: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 1-4, 6&7   Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:26 am

Clarisetan, thank you so much for this.
Every single word Yi Ru wrote makes sense in this text. I've been experienccing something like that and i'm really gratefull 'cause i can understand better what he means. Wonderful, i can't wait to read all of it (since this is just the first chapter!).
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
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PostSubject: Re: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 1-4, 6&7   Sun Jun 05, 2011 6:01 am

I'm having fun reading this. It's so nice to understand him better! Thanks, clarisetan, again. Though i can't thank nastyhobbit, i can thank you for sharing.
I think someone should be here making comments too... lol where's aly??? hahahaahahha
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PostSubject: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 7 - I am Sunshine Boy   Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:06 pm

Chapter 7
I am Sunshine Boy

Translations by Nastyhobbit@AF

[Rough Translations]

Every person’s life there are inevitably several important turning points. In my twenty-odd years, I had made my first life-changing decision – to join the “Sunshine Boyz” competition and, at the same time, enter show business.

What career was made for me after studying, nobody can say for sure, as the affairs of the world are always hard to predict. The path that I had originally considered, certainly turned a corner as I entered show business through the competition, and I arrived in a different world.


During my time studying in Canada, I had a very special experience that had a profound and long-lasting effect on my life. In August 31, 2004, I joined the “Sunshine Boyz” competition sponsored by Canada’s Fairchild Radio, and hence began my path to a career in showbiz.

When Sunshine Boyz was recruiting for participants, the competition was the main focus of the ethnic Chinese community in Vancouver. I remember when I saw the advertising posters, I was at the University of Victoria doing my grad studies, and my friends were all telling me to sign up, and said that since I liked singing and performing, I should take the chance. I was very hesitant at first, after all, performing in front of so many people required a bit more courage. But finally upon my friends and classmates’ encouragement, I bravely handed over my application. I didn’t expect that this action would change my life forever.

First, fifty competitors were chosen from all the applicants to go into the second round of selection. And then from the fifty, ten outstanding candidates were chosen to go into the final round. Before going to the final competition, Fairchild Radio gave us training workshops on stage presence, dance, speaking, body coordination, etc. They also asked us to practice a song and a skit, as well as a talent demonstration. It was very much like a beauty pageant, haha!

This kind of strict and complicated competition that I had never done before, made me very nervous and excited at the same time. That day, my friends all came to cheer for me. From the start’s group singing and dancing, doing the catwalk on stage, doing the question-and-answer segment, I got through each and every one of them, until finally we came to the most important part – the talent portion! I had chosen to sing the Power Station song “Wordless Love Letter”. Maybe it was truly fate, because when I signed with HIM International Music, I learned they were my seniors. Everything must really be part of a master plan!

Note 1:
Sunshine Boyz (from 2006 onwards known as Sunshine Nation) is the Chinese-language Fairchild Radio’s annual event that started in 1999. It explores and trains local Asian-Canadian guys and girls, and through a competition, encourages them to stand confidently on stage and show their talents. From there, they choose the guys and girls most suitable to enter showbiz. Back in the day, the big benefactor who chose me was Chairman Li Fang. Nowadays I consider him to be my mentor. After my performance, he gave me a lot of suggestions and warnings.


Note 2:
Sunshine Boyz finals night was held at the school auditorium of Burnaby High School. This auditorium is very special because it was donated and built by the Hollywood actor Michael J. Fox. The “Back to the Future” star is not only Canadian; he is also an alumnus of Burnaby High School.


I remember when I finished singing the song, there was thunderous applause from the audience. Facing the applauding audience, I didn’t know what to do. I had absolutely no idea what I should interact with the audience. By the time it was the awarding of prizes, I was restlessly standing on stage, and the host was announcing the winners. Watching the “People’s Choice Award”, “Best in Talent Award”, “Best in Style Award”, being handed out, I thought to myself, “No way! There’s ten of us and six awards, I’ll probably get one, right?” Then the host announced the second runner-up, I didn’t hear my name called, and I was thinking, “Well, this is embarrassing.” Then the first runner-up also walked by, I was a little dumbstruck standing on stage, half the people had awards on their hands, and I was among the other half who did not! But I still had a glimmer of hope, because friends and competition staff were bullish about my chances. I should have more confidence in myself. And then the host finally read my name aloud, and the whole audience burst into applause. That was the first time in my life that I heard so many people applauding me! Not until my hands, shaking with excitement, received the champion’s trophy did I realize I was the Sunshine Boyz 2004 champion!

Remembering it now, my love for performing on stage must have started from this time.

Since entering the finals, Fairchild Radio had diligently planned training workshops for us competitors. And after winning, they worked even harder, using every means to help me, including financing for my MV, arranging magazine interviews, all helping me, this foreign student, achieve my dream to be a star.

But at this time, my life was in a quandary. After all my family sent me abroad to study, and of course they had high hopes for me, expecting me to become an economist. And especially as I was about to finish grad school, I already started looking at vacancies in local banks. My professors were also encouraging me to proceed to doctoral studies…

I knew that if I walked the showbiz road, I will not live up to my family’s expectations. But while I was training for the competition, I discovered that I really love performing, and enjoy the feeling of standing on stage. Through music, dance and acting, I can express my ideas and feelings to the audience. Seeing everyone’s reaction is a wonderful feeling. This was the life that I yearned for!

After this realization, as I was about to finish my coursework during Christmas vacation, I flew back to Taiwan and had a long talk with what is now my management. We had discussions about my thoughts on a career in performing, which I was going to continue the summer after graduation. So without hesitation, I sold my car, terminated my lease on the apartment, and bid farewell to more than six years in Vancouver. So I packed my bags, flew to Taiwan and officially started my development in Taiwan.

The days I just started were very tough because I was keeping the fact that I was back in Taiwan from my family. On one hand, I was taking classes planned by my management, and on the other I also was teaching English at cram school, bearing the burden of paying for my own expenses each month. At that time I was practically burning the candle at both ends; during the daytime I was just another guy starting out in showbiz, during the nighttime I took another identity as cram school teacher.

But exhausting work followed exhausting work, and my life was enriched. Like a boxer in a movie, even though I was almost knocked down by the pressures of life, I still had to keep on smiling. Days like these passed into several months, and I didn’t think I would ever enter my home again. My mother was my chief supporter; whenever there was something on my mind, she would be the first person I talked with. And thus I let my mother know of my circumstances first. Even though she did not approve of me entering showbiz, she saw how deeply committed I was at self-sufficiency that she reluctantly agreed with my decision.

But with my father, I did not have such an easy time. After all, paper could not conceal fire. My father tried repeatedly to call me but wasn’t able to contact me. So quickly, he discovered I wasn't’ actually in Canada, and the crater finally exploded!

Father had always hoped I’d go into economics and work in a bank or some other financial institution. And he wasn’t able to accept that the son he had painstakingly given an education wanted to enter showbiz. At that time, my father and I had a big fight, almost causing a revolution in the family. I used time to challenge my father’s question about my choice of work. Fortunately, Fahrenheit received a lot of support from fans when we debuted. After Father knew I had become an idol singer that fans looked up to as a role model, he finally knew too that my work has an effect on and meaning to society. Only then did I start to receive a positive response from him.

Until now, I still think of those days when I had just returned to Taiwan; it’s still engraved in my memory. What I celebrate is the fact that I persevered with my dream, and I didn’t quit just because of incidental opposition. Having endured those unsteady days and the better days that followed, I consider it like the saying, “Beyond the dark willows and the bright flowers, is a village”.

Whenever I stand on stage, facing thousands of fans in the audience, I would be very grateful that fans accompanied me throughout this journey, making me persevere with my dream and continue to shine!


========
kindly give full credits to the owner of the article when reposting

_________________


飛輪海真的是四個人的團體。飛輪海不管這麼樣就是四個人我們不加多也不減少。
那時候, 其實我們跟公司簽合約就已經說好,就是飛輪海就是這四個人,就是這四個人呈現出完整的飛輪海,對,不多也不少。
✰陳亦儒(飛輪海 首張同名專輯)

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PostSubject: Re: The Incredible Journey of Calvin Chen Chapter 1-4, 6&7   Today at 11:51 am

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