Written while Drunk on Thoughts

30 Jan 2014

Land of Ice

Also known as Iceland, 冰岛. This is probably the worse translation ever. Ísland is the Icelandic version. Simple, modern and to the point, I think thats a Viking trait. That is why I love Nordic countries. Everything is made simple and sleek.

Everyone loves travelling, I am no exception. But I do it alone. This limits me to only certain countries but so far, I am loving it. It was in the underground with my mother that Iceland came to mind, because I saw an advert on Guardian / Metro.

Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis, is the main reason. Why not? It exists only in the far north or south of the Northern or Southern Hemisphere and its the equivalent of rainbow in Malaysia. Tourists are amazed by it, locals see it even now and then.

Without thinking twice, I booked my flight and accommodation to Iceland and decided to just follow the flow when I got there. That was the trip of my life. I have no idea what I was doing and where I was going. Walking around aimlessly is my goal and in a city as big as my neighbourhood, it is easy.

Reyjkavík, the most northern city in the world, may not be much in terms of urbanisation but the city has the best background "wallpaper". No matter where you go, its adorned by the most gorgeous sky accompanied by snowy mountain(s) and to add into the wonder of it, the city is on a slope and the sea is not far away. This is exactly what Chinese call "sit mountain watch sea" (坐山看水) - best for feng shui.

Even though the daylight is extremely short, the sky is always beautiful. Sunset is my favourite time, with that as a background, no wonder Icelandic designs and people are simple. They don't have to chase after material or luxuries. Just look up or drive out of the city and look up. The nature gave something that Louis Vuitton couldn't give.

While I was there, I sent a few pictures to Pretty Girl. She replied :" You are in heaven!" I agree with her 100%. It was by far the prettiest natural scenery that I've seen.

I am not a nature person. I prefer living in a huge, overwhelming city than a beautiful little town. I hate crowded areas but I like the fact that people mind their own business and I get a pass for doing stupid things and no one would give a second thought about it. But Iceland truly impressed me.

Because of the friendly aura that Iceland gave, I met interesting people while I was there. I spoke to locals, got invited to an art opening and a concert and I even befriended fellow solo travellers. This is the only thing I regretted from my first solo trip - not befriending anyone.

Each of us have our own stories and reason as to why we are travelling alone. Although we share the same interest, not one of us have the same reason plus we don't ask things like "Won't you get bored or lonely travelling alone?" because we understand the freedom and how easy it is to travel alone. Of course, it doesn't hurt to know more people from different countries and backgrounds.

But I must say this is my proudest moment as an Asian. I got them to feed their camera before feeding themselves - typical Asians behaviour. I can't blame them, the food looks tasty and very presentable.

Leaving you with a piece of whale meat to ponder on how it tastes like.

Iceland, you have a lifelong fan. I am abandoning Amsterdam in favour of you, Reyjkavík.

25 Jan 2014

If someone loves you

"鲁豫和前男友相恋六年、前男友都没有娶她的意思。于是她选择了结束六年的感情,当她遇到现在的老公时,见第一面时,鲁豫说她想结婚了。她老公只是笑了笑,在一起吃了顿饭,很开心,第二天各自回家告诉父母,一周后他们就订婚了,两周后他们结婚了,现在四年了.他们有一个三岁的儿子很幸福也很甜蜜。鲁豫说一个人爱不爱你不是看你们在一起的时间长短,而是他愿意给你一个承诺。” 我不懂什么叫挽留,我只知道,爱我的人不会离开我,因为他知道,我会难过。你无法叫醒一个装睡的人,也无法感动一个不爱你的人。”世上不爱的理由有很多:忙、累、为你好.... 而爱的表现只有一个:就想和你在一起!”"

Inspired by what Pretty Girl told me, I decided to translate this particular article that I came across just a couple weeks ago.

This was a story of a famous talk show host in China. Her former boyfriend never have the intention of marrying her, even after 6 years of being together. For that reason, she decided to end the relationship. She had only met her current husband once when both of them decided to get engaged and married couple weeks later. She is now happily married with a 3 year old son.

According to her, the duration of time is not what it matters, what matters is the commitment that he / she is willing to give. She once said she doesn't understand the concept of keeping someone, all she knows is, if someone loves her, he won't leave her because she being sad is the last thing he would ever wanted. You can't wake someone that is pretending to sleep and you won't be able to "touch" someone that doesn't love you, no matter what you do.

There are thousands and thousands of excuses for not loving someone - busy, tired, you deserve better a.k.a. I'm not good enough for you.......but there is only one act of love: he / she would want to spend eternity with you.

Wise people with wise saying: If he / she made up his mind, there is no turning back and there is no reason to ponder upon it. Know what's your worth, know what you deserve....

18 Jan 2014

Tangibles and Intangibles

First of all, I want to thank my Handsome for encouraging me to write this post. I had been putting it off because it would mean I am disagreeing someone I admire.

Community recovery from conflict through music: Ruha Devanesan at TEDxMontreal

Which is more important? Few months ago, I met a someone that works for a non-profit organisation, my very first I would say. It is not very common for someone from my old environment to be working in a non-profit organisation. Through our brief conversation, I learnt that she helps and educate aspiring artists (mainly music makers) to better protect their intellectual property. The other way of putting it is not to let huge music producing companies take advantage of aspiring artists.

Imagine you are part of a band that had been making music but is waiting for an opportunity to have a breakthrough or for someone to appreciate what you produced and would support you on your road to producing something even more amazing. But, as everyone know in this world of money, I dare say ABSOLUTELY everything boils down to money. Its unfortunately sad but very true. So I admire what she did and is doing to preserve that pure intention of making music, be it to inspire, to entertain or in the case of this talk - HEAL.

So when I was shown this video clip, I admire her way of presentation - calm, confident. But I personally do not agree on her belief.

To summarise what she is talking about, its about recovering after a conflict, be it natural or man-made (war) and how the money aid given by charities were put to use. Half the money were used for immediate relief aid (food, clothes and shelter) and half the money were used to rebuild public infrastructure and no money were used for social / cultural infrastructure.

This is what she does, she helps inspiring artists fight for their rights, well-being and resources. 

In an ideal world, everyone would have enough to survive and will work as whatever they want. Be it an artist, writer, even lawyer, doctor, scientist. But the world is not ideal, its not even near to it and it won't be. Risking my new more positive self, I onced heard this from a 19 year old boy - "When there is a will, there is not always a way, its life." He is a wise one, he acknowledged that young. 

I agree on what she does and said in this presentation. Art suffered from bad quality because of the lack of resources. I know there are a lot of people that will agree with her and think art (music, painting, writing) should have been given more credit, But if you think about it, if all the necessities are not satisfied, will art suffer? I dare say art might be the furthest from what people suffering from hunger are thinking about. 

Even though this is not always the case, in my opinion these thinking are attribute to the upbringing of people. I have groups of friends who are really different. I have friends in Malaysia that never think twice about having a career in what they are passionate about, or rather, my friends and I would pick a career path based on how much we might earn in the foreseeable future. Its not our TRUE passion. 

While I have friends that take into consideration of the amount of money they would make in the future, I have a different group of friends where PASSION is what they took consideration into and most of the time, they do not have the luxury to enjoy the luxurious, to say the least, on bad weeks or months, even basic necessities suffer.

Why is that so? Upbringing and passion plays a huge role. I was often asked what I do (will be doing) for a living and when I say finance, people here (Europe) always ask WHY while people back home (Malaysia) said GOOD. Even though I like Economics and Finance, my passion lies in writing. If that is the one thing I am going to do if I don't have to worry about money, that is what I will do, write. 

It really is down to whether are tangibles or intangibles more important to you. For my fellow Malaysians, its the tangibles - because most of us grew up longing for things we can't have (luxurious items - bags, clothes, holiday abroad), so once we can afford it, we won't hesitate. There is also a social convention that measure the well-being or happiness of people by how much / many they own. I was one of them until I met people that have less than I do but happier than I am. 

I used to measure the potential of my other half by how much they WILL earn in the future, to an extent that I once told a former partner that I can't accept it if he earns less than me. *I don't mean that, I was stupid.* Now I am more interested in what can both of us do together to make life better. IDEALLY, I would marry someone already rich, but that shouldn't be a prerequisite. 

So what is all these has to do with what she said in the clip? She grew up in a much privileged situation than most of us. Our parents went through hardship (not to say her parents didn't, they escaped a war), most of our parents are at best high school educated. My friend's grandmother went to university during the 40s. We are the first generation which most of us went / go to university and we wanted to. 

This is how human progress:
1. Necessities
2. Necessities + Luxuries
3. Necessities + Luxuries + Emotions

We Malaysians are still at stage 2. Majority of my European friends are at stage 3, but of course not all elements can be satisfy and more weight are put in some elements than others. I never really care about my feelings until I spent more time with my former roommate, I used to think she is so emotional. I am not entirely sure whether the feelings surge were because I grew up and had experienced more heart breaking matters or I had learn to take into account my feelings in everything. 

I would like to know what are your thoughts on this. Do you think tangible triumph over intangible or vice versa? 

9 Jan 2014

Careful of what you wish for

As Oscar Wilde said "When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers". To agree or not is entirely up to each individual. I personally experienced this countless time.

I onced wished that I had the chance to meet more people and dated more people before I would settle down with "The One". I got my wish, but I wasn't without sorrows and sadness. "Prayers" answered, I did felt happier because the relationship was a restriction from the start. But the happiness does not comes from the fact that I managed to date more people.

Then recently on a similar matter, a long term as well as a short term wish came true. To realise that wish had more strings attached to it than strands of hair on a human head. With every tug, it hurts down to the core.

So does getting your wish really is a miracle or punishment? Past experience taught me that getting what you wished for doesn't make me happier. More than often you heard people said that it was how they got the wish that is what they truly enjoyed.

I attached my happiness to a certain goal, rather than enjoying the process, I was obsessed with only reaching the goal and as everyone is familiar, if the goal reached was not expected or if the goal is not reached at all. We became sad and wished we have instead. Turn to the other side of the coin, will reaching that goal makes you happier?

Due to my cultural heritage, I was educated since I was a child that I will only be happy if I am rich, if I met someone rich and would provide me with whatever material I desire, if I am successful in work even though the area of work is not what I wanted to do. This is the root of the question, why are Asians (Chinese) high achievers (most), because we were educated that if you have good grades in school, you succeed in life and you will one day be rich. So, for all of us, we fought and sweat just to achieve those good grades.

Then after school, we will do just about anything to earn more money, money that eventually went to satisfy material wants. Material wants that stem from the perspective that the more you have, the richer you are; the richer you are, the happier you are. Explained why Chinese from mainland China are seen with the most expensive material they could have. I think this thought was infused in us because my grandfather is afterall a China man.

I am not rich, my family is well off but that has nothing to do with my personal fortune. I understand the little pleasure that I got from buying something new or to receive an extremely expensive gift from my uncle because that is the way I was raised. It made me happy, for a while, then I was indifferent after. Confused with happiness, I kept wanting to buy more material to have the thrill of owning and using a new bag for the first time. This cycle went on and on. I never doubt this way of life. After all, to us Chinese, being able to strive for the best (usually rich / famous) is the way to go.

However, there are always a bright / upside to everything. It kept you motivated and inspired. After all without any goals, human lost its purpose in life, lost its will to wake up every morning. But do not let those goals or wishes determine how you should feel. Regardless of achieving a certain goal or getting what you wished for, remember that the journey is usually more rewarding than the outcome. These rewards may not come in the form of monetary but I assure you, in the process you'll grow, your perspective will change, things that once matter doesn't and things that you deemed as unimportant is what you will hold dear, you'll learn to appreciate more. These rewards are much more than being rich / famous can bring you.

That being said, if richness and fame happened to happen while you are pursuing your goal and enjoying those moments to get there, congratulations, well done and stay humble.

P.S. I still am hoping and working hard to get my one wish come true. For now, I would enjoy how I get there and I will like it when I did get there. Wish me luck!!

2 Jan 2014


I am not a person that has New Year resolution. For starters, resolution shouldn't just be for New Year, start whenever you want. Secondly, why make resolutions when its never really kept? Last year, I didn't have any specific resolutions but I know I wanted to be happy.

I had given myself no guideline on how I should and will achieve this particular goal of mine. Mainly because I don't know how to. But as the year gone by, I learned how to be happier. I met great new people that turns into close and hopefully lifelong friends. I realised I already have awesome people in my life that love me all these while. With just that, I learned that life isn't that bad and to be truly happy, I have to get the negative thoughts out of my head and start filling it with positive ones. It wasn't easy but Thankfully, I have an amazing person that helped and still continue helping me.

In 2013, I never really had any significant achievements other than graduating once again. But I am very grateful nonetheless. Because of my rather pessimistic nature, I wasn't one that kept in touch with friends and never really bothered to. This changed after I got to know this bunch of awesome people, they make me want to keep in touch with them even though they are now scattered around the world. The old me would definitely cringed at the idea of it, dismissing it as wasting time and energy. I didn't think people would appreciate my effort. But I was dead wrong, people do appreciate and it was wrong of me to assume. Even though we are miles apart, it feels like they are always with me.

Of course, a year only have so many days (365 to be precise), so naturally it has to come to an end. What's better to celebrate an end and to welcome a new beginning by having a party? Any excuse to party is more like it.

I was invited to a party at a sports club, it was quite contrasting compared to my New Year Eve last year. Albeit in central London, I had a quiet night with my cousin, she cooked, we watched Rurouni Kenshin movie with bad English subtitle and we fell asleep shortly after watching the famous fireworks along Thames River at London Eye from afar.

This year, I moved out of Central London to a small town but that doesn't stop me from having a crazy night. I love how contrasting my 2 New Year Eves was. This proved that you don't have to be in a big, "exciting" city to be exciting. Being in the right company is all that matters. I danced and sang all night and had the most amazing countdown ever. Pushed my limit yet again and got really really "happy" at the end of the party. *Looks like my 2013 includes finding my own limit and discovered that I can actually dance* This past year, I had a lot of first, among the other this is the first time I spent New Year's Eve with new people I get to know this year alone.

Even though there are lots of drama throughout the year, I had the best time alone, best summer so far, best new friends and this is all I could ask for.

Excuse my narcissism, I am loving my complexion here.
As a bonus, I got Curly to dress up (close enough) and pose for a selfie for New Year. This year is off to a good start I'd say. To a better year ahead, continue to make yourself happy - this is the only thing that should matter anyway.