Sometimes I think we, as humans, are such arrogant creatures. We claim to be the smartest beings but it seems we don’t act so much accordingly. The ability to think can make us stupid and often blinded by what we thought were common-sense, and we lose ourselves in the process.
That’s why I like animals. A mono-mind, I dare say, sometimes work wonders. We as humans often lose track of our lives. How many of us can say we know for sure what we are living for, and will achieve that purpose by any mean necessary? Any dog or bird or elephant or tiger would be able to tell at once (if they could talk): live. And not just any ol’ kind of living, but the kind they want for themselves. No, not for anyone else, but for themselves. This is far from selfishness, for many animals do live in herds or schools, and will try everything to keep it that way. The connection among members of a herd is unmistakable and undeniable. They live the way they want for themselves.
It’s rather stupid, I think, of humans to live a life they want others to think they have. There is so much sadness and accountability in such life, in which the purpose is to show rather than to actually have. What, then, is the true purpose of that life? I admire people who live for their own pleasure, their own entertainment, their own passion, may that be a job, a hobby, a world-changing dream, or a family. I admire people who know so sure that what they’re doing is not meaningless, that it is real, that it is not merely a play, and they are not merely actors with entrances and exits, as Shakespeare once said. I think a life well-defined, is a life worth living.
Animals live by the simplest principles of life and death. Their lives, no matter how short or long, are well-defined. They stay true to the rules of nature. I’ve read that penguins have known to experience depression, and stray from their group to commit suicide. This is sad, and not only because penguins are undeniably cute, but also because it means the more similar they (animals) are to us, the more lost and distracted they become. Chimpanzees and dolphins who have known to develop human-like emotions, often experience unpleasant feelings. A whale tried to kill herself after her child was snatched away. Note that the higher the ability to think and feel, the lower chance of being blissfully happy.
I do believe humans and their misleading emotions or false consciousness have their own significance. but Buddhism would tell you that unless you can rid of all those, you can never reach nirvana. Not sure why I am telling you this, though, not sure I want to be in nirvana.
Well, but what is life without a roller coaster track of emotions of which we all fell victims to, except sociopaths? Animals are fascinating, but no matter how much I praise them, I certainly don’t want to become one. There has been too much evolution to waste it all. I just hope everyone would actually take a step back sometimes, realize how little we as humans really are, and sincerely appreciate.
Funny how the people who hurt you the most, are usually the ones who said they wouldn’t.
LEGOLand was fantastic.
I’m simply amazed by the effort that people have put into such wonders. The details are breath-taking. The rides are fun, but not so much if you’re really into extreme stuff.
Taj Mahal was definitely my favourite.
You can even build your own mini figures! How about that?
Nice weather and great company, I had a really good time. The staff was so friendly, I could not even get used to the idea. This is Malaysia we’re talking about!
There are times when you go places and you come back, knowingly, more interesting as a person. This is one of those times. The experiences and memories make you, and they’re the only things that make you. Otherwise you’re just a bag of chemicals.
And I know, in my heart, that one day I’ll get to see the real Taj Mahal, among so many other things, with the one I love.
I have watched enough movies to know that you’re never quite too old for anything.
"Hop on a train, go places, get better." I hope I’ll never get too old for my own motto.
My first basketball game.
I despise crowds, but there are only 2 exceptions: concerts, and sports. These are the two kinds of crowds that can make me feel alive and young and free and they make me wanna go out and go nuts and make things happen and so on so forth.
Right, so my first basketball game was an ABL match between Singapore Slingers and Saigon Heat (my hometown hell yeah). I never knew what the fuss was all about, until I came to see for myself. Basketball, as it turns out, is such an upbeat and fun sport. It’s fast, it’s easy to understand, you score often (unlike football, and I don’t mean the American one, I mean the real one, come on), which is definitely exciting. You have half-time shows and even time-out shows. You see people running around a lot, which I think is fun. I guess the only downside to it is that it’s an indoor sport, you can’t really have an audience the size of a football match, and you’re completely air-conditioned. Kind of a bummer, really, but hey it’s all part of the game.
This game that I went to was happening in Saigon, and the Saigon Heat fans were awful. Of course you get to have hooligans in basketball too (don’t know the right word for that), but these are not hooligans. They’re not nice, and they’re not badass either. They’re just plain mean and rude to the guest team. And they don’t even like the home team that much. People left during the last 3 minutes of the game, while Saigon Heat was losing. I mean, what the fuck? Who the fuck does that? Huh?
I really enjoyed watching the game. We got the almost perfect seats. It was a good game, unpredictable and everything. I’d like to watch a fight or something even more exciting, but I guess I’ll save that for my next basketball game. Even picked out my favourite SG Heat player already. Waddup?
Interesting fact, I thought ABL stood for Amateur Basketball League, turns out it did not. It stands for Asian Basketball League.
These are the best days of my 3-month school holiday.
It always comes as a surprise how the littlest things make you the happiest. Staying at home, watching movies, eating junk food, playing stupid iPad games— When you have someone to love, all the simple things in life suddenly seem so full of joy and excitement.
Remember that line from Sex and the City? “Me and you, just us two.”
That’s exactly what I want for my life sometimes. We have had enough craziness and complications from the outside world, to get away with her once in a while, completely cut off from everyone else, makes me genuinely happy.
To want to love and be loved is not to be vulnerable or conforming. It is merely about wanting to experience that amazing form of existence which humankind has been making such a fuss about. And once you’re in, there’s no way out.
Girlfriend bought me my first ever macarons and took me to my first ever basketball game. For when people might think they no longer have ‘firsts’ in a relationship, they do. Watch ‘How I Met Your Mother’ season 1 episode 14 (Zip, Zip, Zip) for your consideration.
I’m going back to school in a week. It’s gonna be so strange and all over the place.
W. SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 44
No love poem beats Shakespearean sonnets. And this one speaks of nothing but the most bitter and heart-breaking truth about long-distance relationships.
So that was my 3-month internship with Lowe Vietnam.
It wasn’t exactly fun, with all the politics and the people thing going on. But it was very exciting. I’ve got a huge part of my life slightly figured out.
And I’ve learnt a lot, that’s for sure. A few things for anyone who’s about to begin an internship:
1. Be over-enthusiastic.
2. Learn to judge people by their attitude, not just by their work.
3. Make friends. It’s never a good idea to be a loner at work. You think you can handle it, but you really can’t.
4. Don’t fall for the ‘intern sex’ trap. I know it sounds crazy, but sleeping with the big bosses doesn’t get you a permanent contract.
5. Know who to show your best work to. Don’t just throw everything out there in the open.
6. Learn to say ‘no’ once in a while.
When you actually start living in the ‘real world’, some things might turn out to be very disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I love advertising. I think it’s a wonderful and splendid industry which is not based solely on lies and mind tricks, despite popular beliefs. It’s an industry of creativity and the daring attitude. Nevertheless, I had my share of false hopes. But with the bad surprises, also come the pleasant ones. I’ve found out awesome creative stuff about myself, and I guess that’s what matters in the end: know thyself.
Choose a job you actually like, my fellow undergrads. Money, it turns out, can’t really buy passion.
And so, I’m one semester away from graduation. I have my girlfriend to thank for this. If it wasn’t for her, I’d never have anything figured out for my career.
Photo was taken during celebration of Lowe Vietnam being named Agency of the Year 2012 by Campaign Asia.
I wish I had an extraordinary talent, like music, or acting, or painting, or sports, or science, or makeup, or any of those stuff. But I don’t. So I choose to go volunteering and do some good.
Sometimes I have doubts about me joining all these volunteering programs. Not really sure what I’m doing with my life, participating in all kinds of stuff like this. Why? Most of the time, I’m sure it’s because I just genuinely love doing good deeds. You’re making other people, just perfect strangers, happy out of the purest intentions in your heart. Kinda makes you feel better about yourself, you know?
Then again, sometimes I also feel like I’m doing all this to make people think I’m a cool and hippie, a nature-and-people-loving kind of girl, just because I don’t have any other attractive, cool talent, which is, well, plain childish and really shallow. Pathetic, even. I’m seriously depressed just talking about this.
But I guess the point is I’m doing it with some real effort, for either a good or selfish cause.
I was a Waterfall Survivor for a while, then a collaborator for an LGBT website, volunteered at the university’s pool for some time, went tree planting and all that shit, ran the Terry Fox every year, and most recently, art teaching for the Rohingya kids at the Muharijin Refugee School.
I have always been well aware of the refugee situation in Malaysia, especially the issue of Rohingya people. And trust me when I say, Malaysia is a cruel, cruel place. Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’ve seen too much of this country’s dark side, but seeing these kids, living with no identity, no home to return to, and no future ahead, I just don’t have enough faith in this country anymore.
Read up about the situation of the Rohingya people in Malaysia if you want to know more here.
Looking at these kids is depressing enough, some of them are actually very bright and seem happy all the time, which just makes it worse.
Photos were taken during a session in which we taught them how to fold origami cranes. That’s the youngest kid in the school. He’s about 5 or 6 if I remember correctly, very bright and well-behaved kid.
Depression about their future aside, I know I’m making all these kids happy, at least for a little while. They looked forward to our sessions every week, and always greeted us with smiles that lighten up the whole place (which is often dark). These are the moments of happiness they’ll keep in their hearts, and the moments are never gonna go away. Who knows, maybe they’ll grow up to have a bright future after all.
Honestly, volunteer often while you’re still young and healthy and passionate. It changes the way you look at things drastically.