Phew, It has been awhile! I managed to get a job back home and I am heading on to my next phase in life.…hopefully all things turn out for the better.
I watched a documentary on Honor Killing. It is sad to see this kind of practice still exist in this modern world.
Human Rights Watch defines “honor killings” as follows:
Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that “dishonors” her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.
The latest news on Honor Killings was on September 2013, whereby a young couple who were planning to marry were brutally murdered in a village, state of Haryana due to having a love affair. The woman was beaten to death and the man, was dismembered alive. People in the village and neighboring villages approved of the killings
The documentary further revealed a story of a another couple, going great means and lengths to avoid the woman’s father from hunting them down and causes them harm. When questioned why the guy choose to great lengths to protect her, and he answered “because she believes in me, and I love her”
And this struck my mind, we are fortunate to live in other parts of the world, with different upbringing and cultural values. Most importantly we have the right to live and love. But most of the time, we are taking it for granted. The most humorous thing is , I have seen people dated for a few days and claimed that they love each other and found each other.
Are we taking love too lightly? Do we profess “love” too easily? Do we actually understand the meaning behind it?
On the Dusty Streets of Regal Boulevard – written by Eatnlivecsy-Chloe
On the dusty streets of Regal Boulevard,
Walks a common lady with a tod,
Nestled his head on her shoulders,
Wondering when is his next larder.
The lady scouts high and low,
On the dusty streets of Regal Boulevard
Looking for a generous kind favor,
And she saw a cultured fellow.
She walks up to him,
Begging for a token of kindness,
On the dusty streets of Regal Boulevard,
He looks at her and walks away.
Under the scorching sun,
She stood there waiting and hoping
He would return but did not,
On the dusty streets of Regal Boulevard.
By stroke of luck I happened to stumble upon this restaurant while planning dinner with friends. We went to this restaurant called Dine in the Dark. The concept of this restaurant is to give patrons an experience to dine in total darkness and served by blind people, which originated with Jorge Spielmann, a blind clergyman from Zurich.
We were served by a lovely 25 year old blind waitress named Hani (Honey). She was abandoned by her parents at a nearby temple when she was a young child. Fortunately, a kind-hearted person took care of her and she was brought up in the local institute of blind and deaf. Despite her disability, her self perseverance and strong will to survive independently makes her a remarkable lady.
The dining experience was interesting and very thought provoking.
What does the definition of beauty meant to a blind person?
Sad to say, living in a superficial world, we as a human being have always subconsciously taken a lot of things for granted and always strive for the elusive perfection. For every elusive perfections we seek, we fail to remember the good in its original form.
Blind or no blind, Beauty is something which can’t be heard, seen, touched, tasted, or smelled. It can only be felt not by the skin but by the heart.
For those who happens to be in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, do check out this restaurant:-
When I first offered a job to work in Cambodia, I hesitated.
I seriously hesitated. Those people who are close to me knows that I am a person who needs the occasional adrenaline rush in life and I Do-Not-Fucking hesitate.
But I did. At that time, my mind was filled with uncertainties and self-doubt. I am about to set foot into a foreign land where infrastructures and basic necessity is considered a luxury among the locals.
Can I get to survive my life without my grab-to-go coffees and fast food chains?
I don’t know.
Will I be under-nourished? How am I going to survive without food?
I seriously don’t know.
Am I able to fit and blend with the locals while English is not their national language?
I have no idea.
What if I got shot?
To fuck with it. I am not prepared for that. But before that, I will take picture of tanks and guns.
There were so many questions and uncertainties when I decided to moved here. Once I got offered the job, I broke the news to my mum, she was worried sick and she even prayed that I didn’t get offered the job beforehand. My friends were baffled at my decision. Back then, I just wanted to venture out from the country from where I have lived for the past 2 decades. I am still in the process of re-discovering myself. I just felt I need to get out. I need a change in environment. What better way than to throw myself in a land of simple, bare necessities?
Frankly speaking, I barely know about the country, except for the occasional documentaries featured on TV. The pictured portrayed Cambodia is a country filled with rich history, suffered 2 accounts of war and is a heaven for pedophiles.
And so I packed my stuffs and headed to where I am now, Cambodia. I remembered the first time I reached here, I was fascinated with capital’s rustic charms. I remembered getting my first apartment with my folks who were with me, trying to assess the whole surrounding. We tried communicating to the landlady in sign language. She doesn’t speak English, and so both of us resorted using the children’s illustrated encyclopedia and calculator to get our messages across.
Thank god for children encyclopedias and calculator.
As times go by, I started to encounter interesting customs and cultures of Cambodia. Arranged marriage is still practiced here. My landlady even tried to match-made me with the locals. That was just plain hilarious. (This shall be featured in another post!). New friendships were bond and new outings and activities ensues. In a way, Cambodia has changed me to be a better person, I am taking things easy and to view matters with an open mind and heart.
In a way, I fell in love with the city.
In hindsight, I am glad I followed my instinct.
But now, things happened and I am now at a crossroad whereby I am comfortable with the lifestyle here and I am able to enjoy the quality of life that I always wanted, but I won’t be able to experience that if i were to return to my home country and that just scares the shit out of me.
Anyone experienced that before?
This coming Friday, I am officially a year older. I am still reeling from the fact that I am one more year to the big 3-0. Standing in front of the mirror looking at my reflection, 10 years of my youth flashes before me. Quarter life crisis is not a myth after all.
Looking back, I am thankful from the support of my love ones. The wisdom gained throughout the years have made me wiser, not so temperamental, and more free spirited than ever.
Lesson 1: Always Believe in Yourself
I took my Professional Certification in the areas of Finance and Accounting when I was in university. I have to admit, I am not the brightest student among the bunch and I struggled with the course throughout my years of study. The dean practices favoritism on the bright students, and I was constantly being commented and challenged by my lecturers that I do not have what it takes to complete my course. There were times I cried, and shed bloods from all the stress and paper cuts. But I would always believe myself that I can made it through the hurdle and reach the end of the finish line. I studied fucking hard to pass my examinations so that I can climb the corporate ladder by the age of 20-21. At the end, I managed to get a World Class Placing in one of the subjects and I have passed all my papers within 3.5 years at the age of 21.
Lesson 2: Explore the Road Less Taken
I was fascinated with people in corporate outfits and was brain-washed to the whole concept that “you must be a white collar professional in order to succeed in life”. As the years go by, I was unhappy with my job, working everyday until wee hours in the morning and most of the times throughout the weekends + public holidays. The effect of long hours at work have taken a toll on my morale and health as well. At times, when I was too tired from work, I would just drive my car along the highways around the city in the middle of the night, listening to Bon Jovis, just to clear my mind of work and the office environment.
I stumbled upon this quote from the website and I realized that achieving a success in career at the expense of my health and regretting the choices and opportunities I didn’t explore in my life is the most foolish thing a human can possibly do to himself. We only live once, for crying out loud. At that time, I was contemplating of switching my career to culinary arts. I ended up taking professional bakery course on a part time basis as a hobby and possibly exploring the idea of a new career path as well.
Year 2009 was a bad year. The country was badly affected by the financial crisis and everyone decided to stay put and hold on to their job as a form of financial security. As for those who have the intention to resign, they would secure a job from their prospective employer before throwing in the resignation letter. For myself, I decided to resigned without any job offers and to travel across western Europe to do my soul-searching. Yeah, I told my ex-boss I wanted to do some soul searching, and Asian bosses are baffled with the idea of “soul-searching and sabbatical leaves”, it is not within the context of an Asian working culture. Frankly speaking, I was really tired from all this bullshit and I decided I need time to find myself and search for inner peace.
I did enjoyed myself during my travels, and I discovered I have a deep passion for ancient history, and civilizations. In fact, after my travels, I took up a job working as a baker/cashier/cleaner in a local bakery shop. Pay was meagre, but I get to interact with people from all walks of life. At the same time, I was attending interviews with prospective employers and they always show their displeasure when I told them I quit my job without having any job offers, and found it very “worry-some” for me to work in a local bakery store. Their attitude changed my perception towards them and their close-mindedness.
Lesson 3: You Can’t Please Everyone
I got a job offer to work in a 3rd world country. Frankly speaking, that idea fascinates me. It is totally different from the normal path of going to another first world country to work. When I announced my decision to work in another country, some people I have known opposed to the idea and I seriously couldn’t be bothered. This is a path and life I have chosen, and I do not wish to conform my values and actions to gain their acceptance. So be it.
Lesson 4: Patience is A Virtue &
Lesson 5: Be Thankful and Appreciative
To adapt in a 3rd world country, takes a lot of patience and cultural understanding. I have seen people unable to adapt to the lifestyle here. I always reminding myself to look things from a different perspective and to be thankful and appreciative for what i have in my home country. I did not suffered any perils from the war, I did not witnessed any shootings and blood sheds. I live in a comfortable home with my family and a leak proof roof over my head. This is like a constant reminder to be more humble when talking to the locals. Furthermore, I always trying to learn the national language everyday in order to understand their local “scene”. This is the least I can do to make them feel less intimidated by expatriates and make myself more welcomed here (as my second home).
Lesson 6: Smile and be Positive Always
Life is too short to be miserable. Smile and stay positive. I am always trying to remind myself that. I always do, at least , most of the time 🙂
Lesson 7: Some Things are Not Meant to Be. Forgiveness Takes Courage
There are times when you have misunderstandings with friends and you have drifted apart. Or you have some friends that do not wish to keep in touch with you for no apparent reason. Nevertheless, do wish them all the best in life. You may not need a concrete closure, but to know they are doing OK in their respective life. I think that is all that matters. Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”. Forgiveness takes courage to the soul. Forgive every which way. Forgive him. Forgive her. Forgive you.
Lesson 8: The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. – Steve Jobs
That is all I can think of so far. Excuse me while I go prepare myself for the weekend celebrating and sprinkle the town with my newly acquired birthday gift (electronic pepper mill)
During our weekend conversation, I just realized me and my friend have something in common. We were once inspired to become a wedding planner. But subsequently got disillusioned with the whole concept of weddings and marriage. If someone were to ask me whether do I know what is love, sad to say, it took me quite a while to answer that question. There is a saying, man loves a woman because of sex; while woman loves a man and have sex.
What is love? When a couple lives together for many years, do they still love each other; or are they bound by their comfort zone , carnal needs or obligations? I have seen couples got hooked up and after a few days, and decided that they love each other and profess their emotions to the whole world. Is this love, or just mere lust?
How to love someone? There is no rule on that. It comes naturally. My mum once told me, do not let loneliness affect your judgement to love someone. True love is not mere love at first sight, but it takes time and patience to gradually understand, connect physically and emotionally, accepting your partner’s pasts, character and ultimately to build a future together. To care for someone, is not about wishing to change him; but you are the first person to notice his change (hopefully for the better). Always choose someone who accepts for who you are, and to always cherish and make you laugh. If you ever meet that person, love him more. Love and romance goes together, that is how you sustain long-term relationship.
Do I understand love? Maybe yes, maybe not.