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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Throat tightens, vision blurs. A visible dent between the brows, muscles tense. Sitting here in a dimly-lit room, one merely sits in front of a laptop, watching her slowly lose the game to death. She’s in pain with no one there to help her. The soul becomes fragile…

…until it cuts her final breath. Her body is all they can find.

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Yet the game’s not over. A kind stranger sends her a message. And here, they quote another:

It will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright now, then it’s not the end.”

“Live on, stay strong.”

Words that may not mean much but means much more to her than the stranger expects. Feelings ripple, caressing her quivering soul. Slowly, she stands back up.

I tend to play ESL games with my student (an 8-year-old local student) sometimes, one of which being a story-making session with a random topic chosen out of a hat. We take turns making the story, writing one or two sentences each time. Sort of like half a Mad Libs. This week, she drew out the topic “Number 72”. It goes something like this:

One summer morning, there were seventy two birds flying in the sky. All were beautiful except for the ugly Number Seventy-two. Being the last and ugly bird is not easy. When they ate, all his brothers and sisters ate faster than him. He grew tiny and thin. Their mother knew, so she said, “Take care of your younger brother!”

All the birds nodded but Number 1 shook his head. He said, “He should take care of himself!”

Number Seventy-two looked at him and then flew away from home. He flew into the deep, dark forest and rested on a tree. There was a bird on the tree, too. So Seventy-two asked her, “Can we be friends?”

The bird said, “Of course!” And so they became friends.

Seventy-two later learned that her name was Angel, and that she came from a mountain far, far away. They played games and had a picnic on the tree. Suddenly, the tree shook. A man was chopping down the tree. The tree shook so hard that both of the birds fell down. The man caught them very quickly. Both Seventy-two and Angel struggled in his strong grasp but couldn’t free themselves, so Seventy-two shouted, “Bite him, Angel!”

They bit him and he yelped in pain, “Ouch! You stupid birds!” He shook his hands and released them. Seventy-two and Angel flew into the sky quickly. They thought they were safe until the man took out something gray and metal. It was a gun! The man shot at them but he lost control. The birds safely escaped. They flew to a castle and settled there. But they found a person living there. It was Belle. She loved both Seventy-two and Angel a lot, so they became friends and lived happily ever after.

Due to the fact that she had woken up early (and skipped breakfast) for the lesson this morning, my student wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the whole English thing. However, she did end up being extremely excited over the story, contributing to most of the plot including the man with the gun. Never underestimate the power of imagination of an 8-year-old.

By the way, she told me that was “Belle from Beauty and the Beast“.


Yesterday, when I was buying a few pairs of tribal pants in Sham Shui Po, the pet cat at the store came up and started purring at me, rubbing its beautiful copper/black fur against my arm. As I tickled its back, it rolled over to let me tickle it more. Its tail swayed from side to side in a playful manner, as if instructing me to tickle this side and that. It closed its eyes  meowed, which made my heart melt to an indistinguishable pool of chocolate. After awhile, I got up and walked away, slowly and reluctantly. The cat perked up and stared as the distance grew between the both of us.

I swear, this is the first time meeting such a friendly cat in Hong Kong.

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Sham Shui Po is a district known for its cheap street market. They sell all kinds of electronic devices at very low prices. Best of all, they’re all up to date. It was an excruciatingly hot Sunday when I visited Apliu street, one of the many streets within the district, so people were either trampled on, pushed about, or at very uncomfortable distances (you know, the our-sweaty-arms-touched kinda thing). Slightly awkward, but still enjoyable. Despite the busy crowd, many seem to enjoy going through the stuff on racks and in the stores. :)

Close to the Apliu street is a very popular Yunnan rice noodle restaurant, along with many others down the street. They have the tastiest noodles there, many of which are known to be sour and spicy/extra spicy. Personally, I can’t really stand spicy food so I tried out the beef noodles and it’s absolutely delicious, if not slightly too salty for my taste. The noodles have a good texture and if complimented with a nice, chilled bubble tea drink, the meal is all good to go. Good hygiene/service are also a plus!

If anyone’s ever curious, here is the address:

(click picture for Sham Shui Po tourism site)

Address: G/F, 117 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po

That’s about it, my brief brief account of the visit~ Really, the cat was the highlight of my trip.

My condolences to those who lost someone dear due to the bombing and shooting massacre in Oslo, Norway. Being one who only got wind of this briefly on the news yesterday, I can only stand here and be perplexed by this man: Anders Behring Breivik.

Why such inhumanity?

Apparently, Breivik plotted this “killing spree” for 9 years. That’s just sickening. Perhaps in spite of appearing as an average working Norwegian citizen, he, as one of the many, hold a grudge towards the government, the world, or humanity. He might have wanted to see the world in rubble, starting at a small point to work with and then extend his operation to other parts of Norway. Yet, like a madman, surrendered to the SWAT team after this bloody massacre. If Breivik had wanted to expand, he would’ve fled the scene once he felt the time was right. His surrendering to authority can signify that the massacre was merely a warning, meaning Breivik, although suspected of being the “mastermind” of the twin attacks, is considered a “messenger” of a larger organization of terrorists.

Then again, these are completely speculations of mine, a mere individual with limited knowledge on the situation other than what the media has shown already.

…Or maybe I’m just influenced by the crime fictions I read recently. One or the other…or both.

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Sunday 24 July, 2011: Two bullet trains of the CRH (Chinese Railway High-speed) crashed, causing at least 35 killed and 200+ injured. Once again, my condolences, this time to those who lost their relatives to such a devastating crash. After this incident, it’s safe to say that I don’t intend to trust China anytime soon. There are just so many corrupted companies in China that you wouldn’t be certain of whether or not the house you’re living or things you’re using are proven safe. Ever since the turnover, I’ve always had my doubts regarding China’s policy, laws, and products; the recent food and product scandals only strengthen my stance.

Update: Guess how the Chinese dealt with it? They decided to bury the train. Why not dispose the remaining survivors while you’re at it?! I suppose that according to their logic of dealing the situation, it would be illogical to leave the injured alive. Geez. Sometimes I really don’t get how they operate. Don’t you investigate the remains of the train to see what went wrong with the system in order to prevent future crashes like this as opposed to burying it like you’re attempting to cover up some secret? If they don’t intend to investigate it, why wouldn’t they weigh the possibility to sell the metal wreckage instead? In Canto, I call their way of thinking as “Y Y dei”, roughly meaning that they have some crazy-ass way of mental processing or something.

I’ve always liked that phrase, “insatiable hunger for knowledge.” I remember seeing it somewhere in some book at some point in my life but I can’t seem to recall. Until then, I’d like to share my books-to-read list:

1. The Tipping Point

Author: Malcolm Gladwell.

“How little things can make a big difference.” After reading Blink and Outliers, I am compelled to read his very first international bestseller. His style is very inspirational and he is definitely a good storyteller.

2.  The Power of Kindness

Author: Piero Ferrucci

A book that teaches us how to be kind and lead a compassionate life. This book is certainly an unexpected find, as I would never imagine myself reading a book on kindness. I thought, as naive and shallow as I was, that since kindness is in our blood, we wouldn’t need to understand the different aspects of it. Turns out we need it after all. The concept of kindness is rather complicated but if we made an effort to learn about it through eighteen aspects of this particular trait, we would have the ability to maximize our success, love, and happiness.

3. Mastering Creative Anxiety

Author: Eric Maisel

Ooooh boy am I excited to read this or what? Being an artist myself, I have a serious problem dealing with procrastination, artist’s block, and much more. …..Yes, definitely excited.

4. How To Talk To Anyone – 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

Author: Leil Lowndes

So I bought this book awhile ago, during my IB years. Never had the chance to read it due to my never ending workload but since I’m free, why not give it a go? It didn’t get a heap of positive reviews on Goodreads, but I’m sure this will help to an extent.

5. The Essential Jung

Author: C.G. Jung                Editor: Anthony Storr

I was first introduced to Carl Jung and his concepts in my grade 10 psychology/sociology/anthropology class. Now I’m just digging a bit deeper into his writings. :)

6. The Definitive Book of Body Language

Author: Allan & Barbara Pease

I was getting quite a bit ahead of myself when I tried this book out at the mere age of 14. This was a difficult read for someone who was not particularly passionate about reading at the time so it was left on the shelf, collecting dust in humble silence.

7. House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies

Author: Henry Jacoby        Series Editor: William Irwin

Despite it being a popular TV series, I’m not extremely interested in House. BUT this book sounds very amusing because as we all know, Dr. House is quite an uncanny dude.

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Now for some fun reads:

8. The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

As I had lunch with a friend, this trilogy somehow came up in our conversation. Triggered my interest, officially on my list. I love action. :)

9. Don’t Breathe A Word

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Stumbled on it on Goodreads and the summary caught my eye. :D

10. The Ode Less Travelled

Author: Stephen Fry

I’ve always wanted to read a Stephen Fry book but just didn’t know what. Let us start on something fun with poetry.

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To think I will be making a trip to the book fair in a few days…

Walking along aisles of health products, you just can’t seem to take your pick. You contemplate on life’s biggest questions at that moment: which one’s more beneficial? which one’s good for me?

In certain cases (perhaps you and I) we think of the question:

Which one makes me skinnier quick and easy?

Let’s face it, things are hardly quick and easy when you want to enjoy substantial long term benefits. Yet as a young adult residing in Hong Kong, I constantly see advertisements and hear conversations shared between strangers dealing with the notion of slimming down fast to look attractive. Sure, it’s certainly acceptable to be conscious about your image and weight, but the thing is, people are going at great lengths just to be attractive. What they don’t seem to grasp is that no matter how attractive you are physically, if you’re not healthy, you won’t feel attractive. What I’m trying to say is, diet right. Not eating for a week just doesn’t work. Going to thousands of beauty therapies or whatever won’t help. Stories of successful people aren’t about their achievements. Rather, it’s about the 10,000 hours that come with it. So if you want something, you have to sweat for it.

You finally reach the end of the last aisle. You walk back to the Oatmeal section. Hesitantly, you take the box of instant oats drink from your cart and return it to its original place.You think to yourself:

Exercise a bit more and eat less crap will suffice.