Not a Fun Travel

Hello peeps. So last week I was in Hong Kong for a few days up towards the weekend. Not for fun so it wasn't well ... fun. The days felt really long which is unexpected because weekend usually just flies by without me realizing it. It's like we never have enough weekend. So last week in Hong Kong, I wasn't looking forward for it because I was alone and I had to be with strangers. The introvert me doesn't like being in a forced social situation. My mom would be the first to tell me like she always does, to change, to be more social and such. Recently I also had someone tell me that I can change and be more social. However, I have reached the point where I embrace that I am an introvert and see nothing wrong with it. We're quite a fine specimen ourselves the way we are and so I get really annoyed when people tell me that I can and should change, ay.

Anyway, I don't know if it's a good thing, it didn't feel all right, I met some people that are connected to me. I didn't know them except for one that I somewhat know, she was in my past like 15 years ago. So I kinda latched myself to them. It wasn't a good thing to do, but since the group seemed to be sticking together themselves, I thought I might as well follow suit. So at some parts it wasn't all bad and I do feel thankful that God gave me people to hang around with. Truly it was really not fun for me that I was really glad when I finished the first day and be back in my room. It's silly but I do really like staying in hotel rooms. I think as long as they're not totally dingy, I will like it. By the time I finished what I had to do, I was just so happy to leave. I didn't get much time to explore Hong Kong, but I guess it's alright. This is not about fun. The bad thing with the anxiety is that it made for a travel experience that's not all good. I also got quite sentimental because some things made me remember of my trip there 7 years ago with Dewi. I took Cathay again for this trip, the same as when I traveled with Dewi. When they gave us ice cream, I remembered of how Dewi asked for another one from the the stewardess and things like that in light of the not fun purpose of the trip did get me quite melancholic.

There is a good part about the trip. The best part was getting to visit my uncle and aunt. This is the one thing I was quite excited about. For one, I am curious to see how public housing in Hong Kong like as compared to Singapore. It was really eye opening. My uncle's flat was really small. It's a 2-bedroom apartment, the same kind of flat I live in right now here in Singapore. It's just my uncle's flat is really really small, like perhaps only half the size of the flat I live in right now. I was very shocked. I don't know much about this uncle and aunt. I don't speak Chinese or Bangkanese and their Indonesian is not as good. The last time I saw them was my trip 7 years ago and this is the first time I got to know more about them. I met my uncle's wife who's really nice but only speaks Chinese. So unfortunately I can't speak much to her. It's a pity because she's so friendly and nice. She gave me a lot of biscuits, I guess because she felt bad that she couldn't really gave me anything. One of the weirdest and unexpected thing about talking to my uncle is feeling a lot like talking to my father. It's remarkable how genes work, why does it feel like they have similar traits. The feeling was all too familiar. Even when my uncle talked to his wife, there's part of it that reminded me of how my dad talks to my mom. A strange strange feeling.

Then we went to my aunt's house, different floor same building. My aunt's flat is bigger, but overall it's not very big. 31st floor, it's very high which makes me nervous for them if they have to evacuate due to earthquake or fire. Same for my uncle at the 18th floor. My aunt's flat has a nice view though, one can see the mountain. It's the good thing about Hong Kong, you can see mountains or hills to be more precise perhaps all around. Anyway, I got to see my aunt's husband and one of their son. I learn so much more about their lives though perhaps I misunderstood some things because they're lost in translation. It is a shame though that I couldn't see all my cousins and learn more about them. I stayed for dinner and when I left and my aunt gave me a hug, I was almost got teary eyed. I didn't expect that, but I managed to catch myself and kept my composure and luckily didn't go all dramatic :P

I had a great time with my uncle and aunt and I love how they are so nice even though I don't see them for years. It was a great family moment meeting them. It was really enlightening seeing how they live. I thought I will write about some of my thoughts meeting them here, but then I decided not to. I guess because it's really personal and I don't know how it will be perceived. I guess I will have to write it pen and paper in my diary. I have been so lazy to write, even in my diary and I know I should be more disciplined about it. It's just I've been feeling like I don't have enough time to laze around so I have been using all my free time to just be lazy. The truth is perhaps I can use more of my free time to do more useful things and I'm just making excuses as lazy people wont to do. Anyway I'm also not gonna write about what's been going on with life. This being Sunday evening, having to talk about it would make it more depressing. Here are 2 pictures of Hong Kong. I don't have many pictures because I really didn't have the time to take them. I particularly like the second picture here, love how the colours came out.

:) eKa @ 9:55:00 PM • 0 comments

It's October Update

It's been day 3 now that we can see a blue sky in Singapore, even though it's light blue. For the past weeks, it's been mentioned all over the news that haze from Indonesia is invading its neighbouring countries. So 2 days ago when I saw the blue sky in the morning, I was like, well well there's a blue sky. It was almost like its presence requires some sort of celebration. It's funny I guess how you really don't think much about blue sky before, but then after weeks of being hazed, you truly appreciate it when it appears. I guess it's the same with every other things we take for granted. The melancholy me liken living with haze like being under a glass frosted dome. It's just gray all around. Whenever I could see a bit of cloud, I always think that the haze is not so bad, but usually we can't see a thing.

So when the blue sky finally came and I was all pensive in my morning bus ride, I thought how the blue sky is always there. Indeed it is. It's just the haze is clouding everything and then how I think it's like a metaphor for life. How sometime we feel so confused and gloomy and how like things are not going alright, but one day / eventually / for awhile the shroud of misery will finaly lift and you'll get your happiness, your blue sky. The question is of course if we could just endure it all and wait out long enough for the marvellous day to arrive. Even though those thoughts came to my head, it didn't really fully clear out the clouds in my heart, I was only slightly optimistic. Well we'll know by now that I am gravely pessimistic.

Anyways, let's talk about something else. Let's start with movies. Recently I watched The Intern, which I thought was pretty nice. It's light and you can always find an angle to criticize it, but overall I like it. Then this week I watched The Martian, whose book I had read some time ago. Going in, I know I was going to get annoyed with the differences the movie will obviously have with the book, but since the movie has good reviews, I was feeling optimistic. I wouldn't say the book as being perfect and I think that's the same with the movie. The one thing that annoyed me perhaps was the iron man maneuver and the save from Commander Lewis at the end of the movie. This move was shut down in the book because obviously it's silly but the movie used it anyway. Then it wasn't Commander Lewis who went and grabbed Watney, it was Beck, but I guess since Jessica Chastain is expensive, she should be doing some works. The more I think about it, the more things annoy me actually. I know some things have to be cut, but I think to keep the dire situation Watney situation is in, the part where he lost all communication when he was modifying his rover all the way to his long journey should be included. Maybe we can remove the sandstorm that affect his solar panels, but the part where the rover and him tumbled down the crater should be included. This would make a good contrast to show how positive Watney is. That's the one thing that I was nervous the most going to the movie actually, will Matt Damon be able to portray Watney as a positive and still funny guy throughout the ordeal. This part is kinda lacking, I think the funniest we saw him was in the beginning when he was talking to Martinez.

Writing that, I also realized that the Watney in the book is the Watney that choose to present himself a certain way through the log and the way I read it colour my impression of him. The movie shows him in another way, it shows him the way we as a the fourth wall see him and the him we see is the honest truth of how he was in that situation. The movie has things that I appreciate though. I couldn't really imagine the setting he has when he was communicating using hexadecimal, so it was good to see that in action. I also didn't imagine him being all so skinny at the end, so it was also nice to see that. Overall it was pretty nice even though the ending bothered me.

On books, I finished reading Laila Lalami's The Moor's Account. So that makes it the 7th book of the year, we truly have exceeded our goal :) The Moor's Account is good, but again the ending bothered me. I think the annoyance comes from me not being able to let go. The story tells of this Moroccan guy ended up selling himself to slavery to make sure his family would survive poverty. He ended up being sold to a Spanish who took him on an expedition to Florida. You need to imagine the kind of expedition Columbus did. So anyway the expedition for gold went so bad that the only survivor was him, his master, and 2 other Spanish. They were so miserable because they ended up as slaves with the different Indians they attached themselves into. Their luck turned for the better because one accidental healing of the Indians propelled them as healers. They were respected and lived a good life. One day though they managed to find Spanish civilization and our dear Moroccan life turned for the worse again. After 8 years roughing it with his master, he thought they're like brothers and he would be freed. However it's often the case that you're one thing when you're poor and miserable and you're another thing when you're rich. The master kept on delaying the drafting of the paper to set him free so the moroccan chose to lead an expedition of some Spanish across the Indian lands that he travelled in. He managed to fool them to thinking that he's dead and so with that he gained his freedom. The problem with this for me is that, all throughout his misery, he thought of going back to his city, his family, but at the end of the story, thought he gained his freedom, he's still in America. So that's kinda unsatisfying for me. Of course perhaps as like any slave, I would take being a free man anywhere in the world than being a slave in the one place I want to be. So after reading the book, I read that this story is based on a real life event. There was an expedition that went awry and there were these 4 survivors. However nothing is known about the slave who made it so the author wrote this story about him. Really well written with vivid details and truly deserving of Pulitzer Prize for Fiction nomination.

Today, I started on Romain Puértolas's L'Extraordinaire Voyage du Fakir qui Etait Resté Coincé Dans une Armoire Ikea (The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe). I bought the french version and today I was like, aaarrrgghhh, je ne comprends rien!!! (aaarrrgghhh, I don't understand anything!!!) Okay I do understand bits and pieces but there's a lot of nuance that I missed :( I have yet to find a free digital english version of this book, so I don't know how wrong I am in understanding the whole thing. It is very sad knowing your french knowledge amounts to nothing. If you wonder why I bought the book, well I was in the french section in Kinokuniya just looking if there's any easy book I can buy. I saw this book and before I made my decision, there's a couple coming to the section and they were chatting. After Japanese class (which always drains my brain and soul), I really just wanted some peace and quiet and so I just grabbed the book and left. I really need the english version of this so that I can somewhat improve my french.

Okay that's the updates peeps. As always may your days be glorious. Ciao!

:) eKa @ 5:04:00 PM • 0 comments