Human Nature, Jibber Jabber, Travels

17 Years Ago…

Today, 17 years ago, was the horrible day that devastated and changed many lives. Let us never forget.

A few months earlier, 17 years ago, I met a friendly New Yorker on the plane to Sabah. J was touring Malaysia and I was going home after acquiring my student visa to the US. We remained friends all these years.

July, 17 years ago, I left my home town for the fourth time in my life. I went back to college in Kalamazoo to acquire a diploma in graphic design. In doing so, I have readjusted and redirected my life path once again.

To me, 2001 will never be only that one terrible day which poison has scattered fear and discord into our hearts. We just have to realize and admit that there were many good days when positive and wondrous things have simply occurred. Such is life…

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Human Nature, Simplify

Redo

After a ridiculously warm and restless night, I woke up yesterday morning with a regret that bothered me for half a day. Bloody hell, I caved in and did not sleep in the tent because of a storm forecast which did not even occur! Argh!

To remove myself from the rotten feeling of self-pity, I asked D if he wanted to accompany me to the library (with the bike) in the afternoon. I need to get out of my comfort zone, be a bit brave and take calculated risks. I felt much better after the bike ride, renewing my library membership for another year, borrowed a book about vegetable gardening, and did some light grocery. Of course, the companionship was most helpful.

Later in the day, we joined the neighbours for drinks and a bit of socializing while their children played in the speelstraat. I walked back home to prepare dinner, ate dinner, rejoined the group and then left to call mom to have our usual Wednesday chats while D stayed on.

And not wanting to wallow in disappointment yet again, I slept in the tent last night. Read a bit, went to sleep, and woke up all rested at 7.30am. Yeah!

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Belgium, Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

A Warm Wednesday

Today started out as a typical Wednesday. In the morning, I checked my weight with the Wii board. When D got up from bed, I did some quick dusting and wiping around the house.

At lunch time, we cycled to D’s parents to enjoy a barbecued fish together. The few hours of eating, chatting and making the best of the warm dry weather went past swiftly. We even helped removed a well-rooted garden plant before our departure! From the parents’ home, D and I proceeded to De Gavers to see if we can buy a pot of local honey. Unfortunately, we were told that the bee-keeper has been sickly, thus this year’s honey production will be rather doubtful. Not wanting to drink at the café, we continued on biking about the cool green surroundings of the lake before heading home.

In the late afternoon, we joined some neighbours at the speelstraat (play street) pop-up bar. The time flew by, dinner time came and went and I almost forgot to call mom for our Wednesday chat. I left the gathering hastily, ate some sandwiches and then called to provide mom a listening ear. What a day this has turned out to be…

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Belgium, Human Nature

Reconnecting

D and I have not seen a pair of friends for more than a year. So not too long ago, we invited them over to the house for a barbecue this evening. Guess what? It turned out to be the warmest July 26th ever recorded here in Belgium. Oh and we decided to serve fries along with the grilled meats. Yep, that is how D and I roll. Againts the current, baby!

Despite the heat, the evening turned out to be quite lovely. It felt good to reconnect with people we seldom see.

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Belgium, Human Nature, Malaysia

Scoring Points In Life

This Saturday afternoon, many are glued to the TV watching the World Cup match between Belgium and Tunisia. Because I cannot sit still for too long and because I have many things to do, I chose to leave the TV on to listen to the commentator and to glance at it now and then.

I was busy reading the current news and recommended articles on my computer upstairs when I came across an article written by Romelu Lukaku. Here is a note-worthy statement from the essay entitled I’ve Got Some Things to Say:

Those people weren’t with me when we were pouring water in our cereal. If you weren’t with me when I had nothing, then you can’t really understand me.

Fortunately for me, I never had to add water to my food or drinks. Physical hunger was never an issue in my life. Nevertheless, growing up in a what-was-then third world country, I did experience the lack of water, day-long black outs, unpaved roadways, and dealing with corrupted people. I know and therefore understand mental hunger and bitterness. I know how this anger can drive some of us.

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Creative Business, Health, Human Nature

Not Paranoia

Today, I came across yet another article which detailed and confirmed the fact that our modern day gadgets are spying on us. It is entitled Your Phone Is Listening and it’s Not Paranoia.

I shall not, in this lifetime, willingly own an iPhone. I shall continue being the proud owner of a Google-less Android phone. I do have to be more diligent when it comes to my tablet. Leaving it on the night stand next to my bed after I have read my e-books is not such a smart practice.

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Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

Radio Silence

D and I both grew up in homes where radios and music filled our days. Every morning, it is a ritual and habit that I turn on the radio in our home. To have the radio playing on for almost an entire day, is simply normal.

This Saturday morning, I decided to run an experiment. Today, at least for the first part of the day, we shall have radio silence. I want to know if D and I can benefit from this period of silence. To use it to get in touch with our inner selves maybe? How comfortable are we without the constant feed of our daily background noise? Can we deal with just the sound of our own thoughts, and each other’s occasional voices?

Different people operate on different frequencies. Identifying our own unique wavelength will probably help improve our communication with other people.

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Human Nature, Quotes

Insincerity

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.
~ George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

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Human Nature, Malaysia, Quotes

Heroes & Heroines

Unconsciously we all have a standard by which we measure other men, and if we examine closely we find that this standard is a very simple one, and is this: we admire them, we envy them, for great qualities we ourselves lack. Hero worship consists in just that. Our heroes are men who do things which we recognize, with regret, and sometimes with a secret shame, that we cannot do. We find not much in ourselves to admire, we are always privately wanting to be like somebody else. If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes.
~Mark Twain

How true…

Growing up, one of my very favourite English language books is “Heroes & Heroines”. The heroic characters depicted in this book were all Caucasians, mostly Americans. Fortunately enough for me, I grew up knowing and admiring the paths of many non-Caucasian heroes. One of the advantages of being a Chinese Malaysian.

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