Mr Mario

As the boyfriend was sharing with me on how human being’s talent and destiny can sometimes be so easily determined by our folks during our last breakfast’s conversation left me kind of bewildered. Well, he left for India and have had led me with no choice but to think of some futile INTERESTING stuffs to keep me occupied in our lonely little apartment.

Correctly speaking, say in a medieval context, we humans can be destined to be as philosophical as a poet or to be designed to have an inventor’s complex mind to solve quantum mechanics.
So can a think tank who’ve had just issued a 1000-page report on climate change perform a 1.9 m Michael Jordan’s slam dunk?

He got me into thinking if we human beings can be classified as a generalist rather than specialist! Well, someone who can put together Moonlight Sonata and put up a bloody lawnmower at the backyard at the same time.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. — Robert A. Heinlein

I’ve been telling people all my life that I’m a ‘Jack of all trades but master of none’ and today I feel as though I’ve came to a point of enlightenment knowing that there’s something called INTEGRATED HUMAN. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even close to constructing a lawnmower or playing the Fur Elise, just the philosophy or concept of it got me all hyped up though I have to emphasis that it’s the implementation and not the definition that counts.

So an ‘integrated human’ is an individual strives towards development which encompasses physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. They recognize their body as a part of their person (not the sum). They are consciously trying to maintain the level of health necessary to have a positive impact upon the world.

I’d like to share with you these guiding principles which I find pretty amusing:

Physical

Physical Fitness
Flexibility
Agility
Nutrition
Healthy body, healthy mind
Hand-eye coordination

Mental

Thirst for Knowledge
Critical thinking
Researching skills
Willpower to do physical and mental work to get things done
Awareness
Philosophy of Liberty and Abundance, not Greed and Theft
Knowledge or intuition of how the world works
Follow the golden rule, treat others as you would wish to be treated
Forethought, good judgment
Open minded
Able to work independently
Able to cooperate with others
Focus, concentration, mental discipline and positive inner dialogue

Emotional

Emotions are controlled, they do not control
Empathy and Compassion
Respect for one’s self and others
Independent
Cooperative
Mindset of sustained sufficiency, rather than consumption of resources
Able to honestly change mind based on facts, not hung up on ego attached to something
Self assured, not dependent on what others think
Resilient “survivor” personality, able to thrive in challenging conditions
Accepts other people as they are, no one can force another to change, individuals can only change themselves
Looks past the superficial surface of things to try to see the core, the true nature
Can take direction
Can give direction

Spiritual (different than but compatible with religious)

Intuition, informed by knowledge
Meditation, yoga or reflection

Source: Opensourceecology

I have definitely a lot to learn and improve in order to achieve the state of ‘integrated human’ but hey, I’ll strive to be a better me, girlfriend, daughter and a better citizen! And I still don’t have to know how to fix a car, boyfriend. 🙂

Now, C’est ça l’amour!

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Flower Power

Just as we’re approaching the year of Dragon in a couple of days and being blessed a good 24 years old of life, I’ll never stop believing that there’s hope in this world. Undoubtedly 2012 will be the year of change as suggested, and Rio +20 as a key milestone of Sustainable Development, since 1992 Earth Summit will map out our achievements and challenges yet to come.

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Given the enormity of the problems that are faced, I never failed to question, if

Is it possible to fundamentally change the economic/industrial/military system?
Is it fair to curb the Western style ‘development’ in other parts of the world, especially Africa and Asia?
Is it possible to have sustainable energy for all?

Can we move from a society based on the pursuit of power, profit and consumption to a society that has the well-being of society and the environment at its core?
Can this be done at a global level?

These are difficult questions to answer, but in my opinion, yes there is hope.

All the ideas, techniques, technologies and cultural models we need to transform the world and steward the environment for the better exist already. They have developed throughout history and can be seen through several currents.

I find it’s utterly important for me personally not to feel overwhelmed by the extent of the problems, but to examine existing, easy to implement and inspiring approaches that we can use to both improve the environment and the lives we lead, looking at the holistic approach of minimalism and permaculture in particular as a mechanism in creating change.

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Sustainable living is more than just a nice life for those that attempt it. It also offers a vision of a better world, and a daily, practical protest against the cultural, corporate and state structures that lay waste to the world.

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It doesn’t really matter where we start. Follow our curiosity and passion, make it part of our life with practical action and steady learning. Celebrate our achievements and turn others on to the possibilities.

Each positive action links us to a new global family that has the interests of the Earth and all its beautiful inhabitants at its heart. We’re not alone. Millions of people across the world are working to make things better. When you go to bed after
a good day of rabble-rousing and Earth repair, others are just waking up, ready to put in another day’s effort.

Inspired by The Trapese Collective

When giving is NOT buying

I love Christmas. It’s a season of hope, renewal, love, inspiration, joy and contemplation. It’s about giving and sharing.

Being in Beijing, well in a country which originally doesn’t really have anything to do with this celebration or meaning, it has definitely a lot to offer. The lights, Christmas trees, Santa Claus, billboards, jingly decorations and snow man portray nothing of any sort of the birth of Jesus. This is definitely not surprising coming from a City where there’s not a single sight of a standing church.

Unlike in many western countries, where the smell of mulled wines, cookies, waffles and bakeries lurking in the winter air, the Chinese smell OPPORTUNITY in the air, well which is literally translated into MONEY. Whether it’s the money-burning shopping spree from the consumers or the cashing-in sound of the register, it spells ECONOMY.

This is unquestionably a trend of globalization, no? One World?

This is purely an excessive crapload of commercialized and propagated consumerism. People just want to find reason to buy. Oh, Christmas Sale? People can save thousands on this season? Listen, people save when they DON’T buy what they DON’T need.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of giving, especially to our loved ones, but not the twisted and manipulated picture painted by greedy corporations. We shop for months, getting into debts, rip apart the packaging one morning, forget it the next day and chuck them in the closet and shelves collecting dust. Do we need more cluster? C’mon it is about giving, or buying?

The focus here is certainly on buying not on sharing.

Christmas is NOT about wish-lists, shopping, overconsumption, frenzied malls, consumer debt, environmental waste, excessive fancy wrappings, and bunch of endless needless stuffs that goes with it but it is the time for family, friends, eating cookies, laughing at each other, gossiping, tightening bonds, reunion and reconciliation.

Giving can be in many forms, with a little thought and creativity; we can give our loved ones gifts which can leave little footprint to our environment but large footprint to our hearts.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012 my dearest ones!

Thank you 2011.

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Inconvenient Truth

The most profound thing that I’ve discovered and learned in 2011 is trying to define “truth”.
For this discovery, I’ll have to thank my collection of experiences for the past few months. It’s never a question of Black or White to begin with. Let’s put it in a very bleak clarity, that truth has NEVER seemed so far away.

Before I proceed further, I find it essential to stress that there’s a difference between trusting and accepting THE “truth”. Trust to me is a fundamental faith that involves a reliability that we have for a certain source or person. Trust can be harnessed with time.

Truth for example reveals the reality of something. It brings precision and transparency, the yardstick we use to identify our moral correctness or righteous consistency.

Being an engineering student requires us to work with pure hard facts. You can’t defy F = ma or E = mc2. We grew up with utter scientific proven hypotheses and figures which have been used and generated over the past centuries. From these theories, innovations are made and new technologies are discovered. My curiosity on science and technology has then been substantiated when I know I want to be part of a solution – ideas being transformed into reality.

Of course in practical, it sounds too good to be true. There are always limitations and constraints and it is our job to link scientific discoveries and their subsequent applications to human needs.

Engineering ethics aside, my curiosity on social behaviors and code of conduct has intensified over the last years. I try not to impose myself to seek for the cause of social unjust whereas I’d prefer to look for answers. I’d like to think that as much as we’re bumping up against “harsh reality” such as wars, economic crises, inflation, depression, suicide bombing, famine, HIV, climate change, peak oil, natural catastrophes and things will only look bleaker as we head into the future, there’s a tinge of hope that I can hold on to.

But there’s no instant solution without knowing the roots of the problems. I’ve figured that it’s more important for us as a society to first question ‘WHY’ are all these happening around us.

And then I start to question myself how important are all these projected truths to me?

I’m filled with doubts and finding it difficult to accept certain ideology, habits and practices.

Something reminded me again that it’s doubt that drives a man onwards. All these barriers that are dividing society bring so much agony and tension amongst people.

We are disrespecting the planet, squeezing and exploiting till the very last drop of natural resources it could offer. An egocentric society which focuses on affluence and power, security and possessions just to keep the flow of economy sounds senseless to me.

Our economic indicator portrays obsessive figures on our development and progression, but people forget about the true value of our Earth’s assets, which we can get for free.

The national pride, competition, history, and stereotype wipe out human beings’ common goal which is the pursuit of happiness and love.

I’d like to bear in mind that no matter how heart breaking and bitter the situation and system is, I’ll consciously remain optimistic and cling to the hope for a holistic, sustainable and renewable world. That’s my hope for 2012. Change. Less equals to more. < = >

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PS: This blog post is triggered by the death of Kim Jong Il. Cheers to our fellow comrades!

Words without borders

It was on the 13th August I stepped my foot on Beijing’s soil as a first timer. I know my merely 2.5-month’s observation and stay in Beijing will not justify my whatsoever opinion I have for this city. As superficial as it might sound, as an ‘outsider’, my instinct urges me spit it out before my intangible time here vanishes.

Oh boy, my very first impression for city was: this place seems to have undergone an extreme makeover. It is nothing new to mention that the economic development that has taken place here is simply jaw dropping and deservingly admirable – modern high rise buildings, shopping malls, and more skyscrapers mushrooming like hotcakes. Almost all families own electric bicycles, motorcycles or even cars; walking seems to have become a lost art. People are inseparable from their latest electronic and mobile devices.

Children and teenagers are losing their competency of mingling with people as a result of the implemented “one child” policy. Growing up in an environment where absolutely no one knows who their neighbors are and people are busy minding their own business shuts them off from the social institutions completely. Kids’ best friends are television, brand new toys and I-pads. Going outdoor seems alien to them.

It would terrify parents today if their kids start playing mud and throwing stones, as kids these days are destined to get themselves ready for good scores in the upcoming test or an interview for a kindergarten’s enrollment. While internet and technological devices are booming, there’s also no need for local or public libraries. As kids and adults in other big cities are privileged to borrow books on a wide range of subjects, local bookstores are equipped with textbooks, college entrance exam preparation guides, or various electronic handheld devices called ‘study machines’.

And as the kids’ main purpose of life is studying, the adults now have more free time on their hands. Most seem to fill this time eating and drinking. Food is unhealthy and rather expensive, yet restaurants are always crowded. Karaoke clubs, pubs or “Mahjong” is in the next agenda and often till the following morning.

Though some people confide that they find such dinner parties unwholesome and meaningless, but they go anyway, as they do not want to stick out or become a social outcast.
Adults no longer can identify what are the activities available to spend quality time with their kids apart from shopping malls, since their kids are the happiest when are showered with brand new toys and gadgets.

I found a great difference in the use of spare time between the place I grew up, Hamburg and Beijing. People might think that life would be more monotonous in the west, where people live further apart from each other.

Activities in the evenings, where people mow their lawns, wash their cars, jogging, go fishing, baking, gardening, play sports, read books, or develop various personal hobbies such as in music or art. Things that I take for granted, such as hiking in the wild, visiting local museums or libraries or going to the park, are rare excursions in Beijing apart from the local tourists or senior citizens. Even the China’s literary culture such as calligraphy and ink painting are losing its ground amongst the youngsters.
The cultural landscape here, especially in emerging economic areas, is a wasteland that cannot be concealed even by the glare of red-hot economic development.

I couldn’t escape the feeling that its newfound economic prosperity seems to be defeating the purpose of improving standards of living.

Can this constant fear that people have of not securing enough wealth and possessions which is the sole driving force to this economic development and prosperity in material life be called progress?

If people’s hard-earned money is spent on wasteful eating, artificially engineered food, unhealthy drinking and ear deafening Karaoke clubs, can this development actually be called progress?

If a society can allow a 2-year child bleeding in road after being run over by two different vehicles and then ignored by 18 passersby and later found dead, can this development be called progress?

If human beings are denied from the very basic of nature’s essential, namely clean fresh air and water, can this development be called progress?

We are what we do and eat.

Twenty years from now, what will we be doing?

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Love Affair

There are some days when we’re awake, there’s a great gush of contentment that kicks in, bringing in a big broad smile to our face to welcome our day.

Today is one of those days where it feels so natural to think simply and presently. There’s no smog, no rain, solely the goodness of sun throwing incredible beauty to its vicinity on a cold autumn Monday morning. I felt nothing but gratitude for being alive, for seeing the sun shine again. It’s clearly a reminder that the sun will always shine again no matter how big the storm or particularly SMOG it might be.

On a day like this, it’s easy to see how we forget to stay present, be happy, and reacquaint ourselves with trust and faith – things that were once a natural part of us.

It is the joy of smiling for no apparent reason, and yet for thousands of reasons.

I breathe. I give. I receive. I love. I am loved. I am healthy. I have fresh food. I’m present. I’m excited. I’m trusting. I’m grateful.

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I’m falling more and more for this city bit by bit.
I fell in love in Beijing.

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I LUB YOU, MIIIIIISSSSIAAAAOOOOOOOOOO says my lover.
She’s a two and a half year old girl, Ping. I’ve been home staying with a Chinese family for almost two months now. This family has been so kind to me.

For years, I’ve learnt that giving is purely a personal selfish act to grant me keys to my contentment and happiness. The more I could give and offer the happier I’m – which is only partially true. In other words, I’ve came to realization that, being in that place of receiving where we can validate the giver’s blessing is one of the greatest gift one could ever have.

Whenever I feel that I’m unable to receive, I’m reminded that I’m actually denying someone else the pleasure of giving.

This totally makes sense!

I’m counting my blessings, on every single day!

Energy

I swear in no time I can beat Josiah Ng on velodrome and have thigh as thick and strong like his. This is all thanks to my daily cycle to work and getting around here! NO rule to abide. Just GO and make sure be FAST!
Well I do have a choice. It’s either I choke myself on a 30-40 minutes packed in like sardine bus ride smelling men’s and women’s armpit, bad breath plus FART for bonus OR choke myself on a potentious deadly bicycle ride inhaling a mouthful of toxic fumes. It’s obvious I’ve chosen the latter. Sounds exaggerating? NO!

You can give me the lousiest bicycle; I will still choose the latter.

Dear Beijing,

The capital of the most populous nation in the world – CHINA which consist of 20% of the world population; 1,3 billion of almost 7 billion people! You made me perplexed. Damn you Chinese. Left, right, front, back, north, south, east, west people are flooding everywhere. Tiananmen, the biggest square in the whole wide world is filled with Chinese. The “Wai Laos” are sunk deep deep into the sea of Chinese people!

Your development pace is too fast for me to grasp, your pollution intoxicate me, your consumerism soars like an eagle but your ethic which is sinking down the drain is utterly disgusting. Your intensity left me bewildered, lost in translation.

As a traveler, our ability to adapt and adopt to the local environment is one of the most essential element that keep us going and longing for more. The constant challenges, culture shock, peculiar food, faces, custom, colors and energy level that flow in every city differs so greatly and THIS is exactly the attraction and the whole point of travelling.  Seeking for something NEW. Therefore, in any case the objectivity of our perception needs to be reminded and refreshed in order to enjoy and infuse into their locality.

And discovering Beijing has been one of the most delicate I’ve ever experience. Unlike populous country like India which I dearly heart, Beijing has a very different historical background and philosophy which I find it interesting but difficult to digest.

It’s like me telling you Mahatma Gandhi versus Mao Zedong.

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This whole era transition is happening too quickly that there’s no one could ever define and sum it up in a few words. The core of this underlying dogma is infinite. As I went through the history books of China, browsing through paragraphs to photographs, I felt chills down my spine.

I’ve spoken to people about my confusion and sought for a better explanation from both Chinese and outsider. What left me in standing in awe has to be the siding of different parties and their ideas of  their personal iconic heroes!

Well it’s none other than Mao Zedong versus Deng Xiaoping in this case.

We’re not even bringing the history back to the fall of Ming Dynasty. The corrupted institutions where people were blinded with greed and power have never changed ever since, and here I question myself today what is our human common ground?

We are all running after security, comfort, power, and fame you name me? Well, probably politics are never meant to be understood, it’s just a dirty monopoly game where the goal of is to monopolize and marginalize!

I’ve came to an edge when my neutrality has reached to a point of nauseate just by having a slight thought of it.

At the moment, I will just sit, enjoy and watch the time passes while listening to Bare Necessities and anticipating the arrival of my empress and emperor.

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Let me present you my Beijing, Mom and Dad.
Love,
Daughter

Homecoming

This thing has been bothering me for quite some time.

One of my many missions to accomplish in this trip back is to learn how to open up with my family. This might sound crazy but I’ve never actually shared with my family before, what I want to do and want in life. From my past experiences, my family hasn’t been really happy with my impulsive behavior and “little surprises” I’ve thrown to them. Each time I announced my ‘little project’ to them, it’s like a whole bloody deadly bomb that I’ve just placed in front of them.

The delivery of my every “masterpiece” failed every darn time in the past. To keep me sane, this has got to stop. I totally understand that Asian family has certain values that need to be respected and condoned. I can’t be doing whatever I want to do without having a tiny bit of support and understanding from my very own family. To be politically correct, I need a bloody approval from my family desperately.

So, my task is to present them my master plan. 😛

I know I’m not the most diplomatic person to begin with. I’m emotional and start losing my head when I can’t fork over my thoughts and when people start doubting me. I’m a bloody stubborn species. Once decision is made, I’ll stick to it. Try to change me, you can almost forget about it.

Sounds like an ungrateful monster? Sorry mom, dad, sisters and brother, I’m just the black sheep of the family.

Again, I understand that it’s hard for them to digest my decisions and actions which might seem bizarre to them.

But why to them in fact to everyone, one cannot make ANY difference in SMALL scale.

Why must it be the ‘I believe in making changes in BIG scale. Only THAT can change the WORLD. Only when you are someone prominent, rich and famous, you will have all the attention of the world that worships you as an idol.

I’m not even talking about changing the world now, people.

I’m just trying to play my tiny weenie role, on the things that I’m compassionate about. I just want to share with you the pieces of information I have which led me to these decisions.

I’m not even trying to change the way you think or want to be a smarty pants to preach to you about the whole energy, ecology, equality and economy system. I just want to share with you the consciousness that I have in order for you to see for once the perspective through my eyes.

Why is it always that if you can’t change the system why don’t you just be an obedient little girl and follow the crowd thing?

Why do you need to doubt me by asking, so what have you done so far?

Why do you choose to ignore because you feel that making small differences doesn’t matter at the end?

Why is it always a NO WAY OUT situation? So are you telling me that I’m doing is in vain baby, the world is going to end soon anyway, people are killing each other, oil is running out, trees are dying, global is warming and yada yada…?

SO, does it mean that now that if I’ve failed to convince my family, I can forget about making ANY differences at all OUT there?

Man in the mirror people!

Start from yourself.

To the children of the world, and those not as yet born.

I will try my best to speak up for you!

Cheers!

I’m Yours

A life which ends with death, is a life not well spent.

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Live and let live

If you want to be happy, be. – Leo Tolstoy

SwitchfootAlways :

This is the star
This is your heart
This is the day you were born
This is the sun
These are your lungs
This is the day you were born

And I am always, always, always yours
And I am always, always, always yours

These are the scars
Deep in your heart
This is the place you were born
This is the hole
Where most of your soul
Comes ripping out
From the places you’ve been torn

And it is always, always, always yours
But I am always, always, always yours

Hallelujah!
I’m caving in
Hallelujah!
I’m in love again
Hallelujah!
I’m a wretched man
Hallelujah!
Every breath is a second chance

And it is always, always, always yours
And I am always, always, always yours

Footprints

Being raised up in a fairly conservative upbringing, I was thought to do things “safe” or rather “conventional”. You know, follow and obey! The autocracy of “Do as I said!” or “Because I said so!” howls! C’mon, the dog eats dog world thingy. I loathe it!

Probably it is the reason which has shaped me the person I am today. Of course, what I mean here is by not compelling to it.

Lately, I was triggered by confessions posted by a few friends regarding the whole situation back home. The unending social segregation, the denial of meritocracy, the unfulfilled promises misled by unscrupulous politicians, all in the name of fighting for our rights and justice in our place we could call HOME, where we belong.

And today I question myself, is there any ray of hope that our country would ever emerge from all these pettiness and progress as a nation to enjoy the fruition collectively?

These political propagandas used by various parties, groups and individuals to infuse ideas and beliefs based on our culture, status, religion, and social indifference are merely a provocation, for us as a new generation to fight for a better future, for those who are denied, outcast, marginalized and discriminated so that each and every one can live in a safe and healthy environment.

The battle between who is right or wrong, who has more power, status and money creates only hatred and dissatisfaction.

If we continued to constantly live in a discontent state, there’s no drive in us to serve because everything is unjust.

We believe that we are ill-traeated and envy our neighbours because he has more and better material possesions than us.

The idea consumerism = living to buy has caused more harm than we could ever imagine. We live in a so-called “happy” world as advertised on televisions and magazines. The energy used for production and manufacture, the depletion of natural resources, the environmental destruction and pollution, the violation of human rights, the exploitation of the poor and weak, the climate change are all generated by our over-consumption. Obviously, all these are not shown in advertisements.

What about start thinking how we can make a difference?

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Have you ever wondered, when each time you flush your toilet, 7 liters of fresh water is flushed away? And we are talking about almost 50 % of the developing world, 2.5 billion people has little access to safe water and proper sanitation?

Have you ever wondered, each time you leave your room with the lights on, approximately 3 billion which half the world’s population have no access to clean cooking energy and 1.6 billion are without electricity provision?

Have you ever wondered, when each time you complain about doing your dishes almost 1 billion people in the world have no food on their plate?

Are we all too carried away in this rat race?

Now where’s your LV?

.

.

.

Ohhh, I mean where’s your LOVE?

Maktub

Carpe Diem!

What’s on your Bucket List?

Dated 5th November 2006

1) Learn, pass and excel in German
2) Get at least 85 pointers for AUSMAT
3) Fly to Germany
4) Study Environmental Enginnering
5) Travel around Europe
6) Save money for my family to visit me
7) Study in Western Germany
8.) Work for UNESCO
9) Meet Nelson Mandela
10) Win the Noble Peace Prize just like Dr Muhammad Yunus
11) See Bush assassinated, murdered in a horrendous and appaling way
12) Adopt a Child
13) Work as a volunteer for the Third World Countries
14) Work for Green Peace
15) Mend the Ozon hole
16) Teach Malaysian to be more courteous
17) Be an environmental and world peace advocate
18) Fight for poverty and hunger
19) Fight for gender equality and racial discrimination
20) Form Kwa Foundation like Bill Gates

Updated 28th February 2008

1) Embark on a Hugathon. (HUG ME, IT’S FREE!)
2) See the Northern Light
3) Go work and volunteer in Africa
4) Engage in WWF and Green Peace

Updated 31st  December 2010

Smile more
Catch the Northern Light
Volunteer more
Learning by Doing
Give more
Learn Spanish
Get a Tattoo
Save more forest and orang-utans
Never say never
See more
Be the citizen of the World
Bungee Jumping
Sky Diving
Conquer Mount Kinabalu
Love more
Savour Balut egg
Learn Sign Language
Hug more
Meet Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela
Let’s zorb
Listen more, talk less
Get a Mandela Bangle
More Free Hug Campaign
Work with engineers without Borders
Care more
Be more engaged in Greenpeace and WWF

Top Travel List

Tibet, Nepal and Northern India
Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar
East Malaysia, Indonesia
New Zealand, Australia
Africa
South America

Updated 21st May 2011

Embark the journey of Santiago de Compostela
Be thankful
Smile always
Go on a blind date!
Play better Guitar
Go on a road trip and hitch hiking
Try magic mushrooms
Go backpacking
Watch Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Coldplay Live!
Random travels with no itinerary planned at all
Go swimming with dolphins
Dance like no one is watching (out of Rhythm)
Live in a different country for at least 6 months
Knit a scarf for my Mom!
Get Braces!
Build a treehouse
Witness a solar eclipse
Get a Vespa
Go stargazing
Plant my own tree and watch it grow
Learn Spanish and possibly Esperanto
Get bald/dreadlocks! 😀
Run a 42-km marathon
Experience Water rafting, Kayaking, Sailing, Scuba diving, Snorkeling
Get a driving and diving license 😛
Play Rugby
Go skiing
Get another Tattoo
Connect with teachers and friends from past schools and let them know how they have shaped my life
Be a mentor
Bungee jump, Skydiving, Parachuting, Paragliding, Ice climbing
Climb another mountain
Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
Enjoy and practice Yoga and Meditation
Make a difference in someone’s life
Visit Everest Base Camp
Perform a kind deed to at least 5 strangers without expecting anything in return
Write a book(blog)
Sing my favorite song to an audience
Experience a sunset and sunrise
Own a dog
Whip up the best meal ever for my loved ones
See the Machu Picchu, Sea Salt, The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, Taj Mahal, Great Barrier Reef, Cape of Good Hope, Hagia Sophia
Gain enlightenment
Bake a cake for someone special
Go deep into the heart of Mother Nature.
Go trekking in a rainforest
Camp out in the wilds
Visit a waterfall
Swim in an ocean
Love spring, summer, autumn, winter = Love Life
Read a book on a subject I’d never have thought of reading (Linux rocks!)
Fly a kite
Fall asleep on grassy plains
Try veganism
Go snorkeling and experience marine life up close
Go on a meditation retreat
Start a social movement
Watch cherry blossoms in Japan
Donate blood anually
Play Paintball
Be a Mother
Get closure on all my hurt, grievances and unhappiness of the past
Bury the hatchet with all the enemies
Sign a donar plegde
Organize more picnic outing
Visit a volcano
Fly in a helicopter
Tell my parents that I love them
Go on a cruise in the sea
Fall in love
Be in love!
Live in a rustic hut
Change the world 😀
Help someone in need

I might not be able to cross out the whole list, oh well who knows!

Bona Fides!

MDG

Okay. I know what you are thinking here. It is not the Malaysian Dream Girl.

To be honest, I’m pretty dazed recently. Since the start of my autumn semester, things appear to be more complicated. Well, generally everything seems to be more complex. I started to shower myself with matters more than I could absorb.
I’m running around for interviews and sending off zillions of internship applications to all over the world; looking around for voluntary services around the neighborhood even though I don’t have the time to care for my homework; attending extra lectures, doing a research project, and currently got assigned to a project to investigate the feasibility of a solar power plant in India by a company which might not even hire me as their intern. Weekends are usually filled with meet ups, birthdays and hangovers.

I’m heated in lectures and I feel left out in studies.

I have to admit; I’m completely washed out and lost.

For once, I want a getaway. Bury myself in a hole and be vanished.

Free as a bird, into the wild and never be seen. Into my picture perfect world, where everyone loves everybody, where nature reigns and love conquers.

Just when we realize at times like this, when our hormone boils, our need for mommy goes sky high, and our cry for attention rockets to its crest…AHA! And just about when we almost miss and lose the whole point and sense of everything and anything, somehow or rather… we accidentally find them back again. Well, funny but true.

It’s mad. It’s a state of mind. It’s an art of being.

We need to be lost to be found.

And I found MDG.

MDG is a global partnership targets to eradicate poverty established during UN Millennium Declaration on 2000.

These goals are born for reasons. 10 years have passed and we have 5 more years to achieve our targets.

Let me stress: OUR targets. Not his, hers, theirs but our targets.

I stumble upon this initiative as I’m doing my papers research. It’s like a wakeup call. You feel as though you’re part of something, even it might be little.

The impact which reminds you that someone needs you. Hang in there!

It brings you back to the smiles!

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The Millennium Development Goals

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
• Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Achieve universal primary education
• Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling
Promote gender equality and empower women
• Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all
levels by 2015
Reduce child mortality
• Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five
Improve maternal health
• Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
• Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS;
• Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
• Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes;
Reverse loss of environmental resources
• Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water;
• Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
Develop a global partnership for development
A number of objectives, including:
• Address the special needs of landlocked and Small Island Developing States
• In cooperation with the developing countries, develop decent and productive work for youth
• In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies especially
information and communications technologies

Dream the dream

Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve.

You are the change that you dream, as I am the change that I dream, and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.

And I’m excited as anyone could be, cause I wake up every morning feeling useful!

Solidarity

16 Decisions

  1. We shall follow and advance the four principles of Grameen Bank: Discipline, Unity, Courage and Hard work – in all walks of our lives.
  2. Prosperity we shall bring to our families.
  3. We shall not live in dilapidated houses. We shall repair our houses and work towards constructing new houses at the earliest.
  4. We shall grow vegetables all the year round. We shall eat plenty of them and sell the surplus.
  5. During the plantation seasons, we shall plant as many seedlings as possible.
  6. We shall plan to keep our families small. We shall minimize our expenditures. We shall look after our health.
  7. We shall educate our children and ensure that they can earn to pay for their education.
  8. We shall always keep our children and the environment clean.
  9. We shall build and use pit-latrines.
  10. We shall drink water from tubewells. If it is not available, we shall boil water or use alum.
  11. We shall not take any dowry at our sons’ weddings, neither shall we give any dowry at our daughter’s wedding. We shall keep our centre free from the curse of dowry. We shall not practice child marriage.
  12. We shall not inflict any injustice on anyone, neither shall we allow anyone to do so.
  13. We shall collectively undertake bigger investments for higher incomes.
  14. We shall always be ready to help each other. If anyone is in difficulty, we shall all help him or her.
  15. If we come to know of any breach of discipline in any centre, we shall all go there and help restore discipline.
  16. We shall take part in all social activities collectively.

making a change

dear baby,

i’m completely baffled by my how-to-utilize-my-two-months-summer-break right now.

i want to do so much in such a little given time space. no, i refuse to spend the two months lavishing on oh-so-orgasmic-food, sand-sun-sea, and parties and overflowed tlc though i know that’s what you’d most probably suggest me to do. i need something solid and sustainable in my life. the feel of my very own insignificant existence and presence in this place call earth. i want to put my shoes in all walks of life. i want to feel their simple but yet fulfilling being. i want put a test on my patience on handling and seeing unfamiliar conditions and situations. i want to get out of my comfort zone and face with real hardships and sufferings. i want to be used as a tool to reach out. with my best ability, i want to bring light and laughter into people’s lives and enlighten them that their happiness and comfort matters to me. i’m torn between two choices, the children i love most and the mother earth i belong to. both are equally valuable and crying for my attention. how do i prioritise? where do I start? india? bangladesh? cambodia? indonesia? vietnam? thailand? which project should i head for? can i deal it alone? what can i offer? how much can i give back?

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

Heal Haiti

Dear Haiti,

Do you remember when life was an ember waiting to burst into flames?
Are you so tired and so uninspired, slowly drifting to the end?

Don’t let your heart keep breaking.
Move on. Please don’t look back.

We fall down.
We get up.
We try to hold our head up when life pulls us apart.
We fight and we bleed but all we ever need is
something to hope for, something to hope for.

Whatever we can see, whoever we should be is well within our reach.
Though nothing is certain we pull back the curtain longing for purpose there.

Don’t let your heart keep breaking.
Move on. Please don’t look back.

We fall down.
We get up. We try to hold our head up when life pulls us apart.
We fight and we bleed but all we ever need is
something to hope for, something to hope for.

We bend, we may break, but we keep it together.
We give and we take but we keep trying.

We fall down.
We get up.
We try to hold our head up when life pulls us apart.
We fight and we bleed but all we ever need is
something to hope for, something to hope for,

Something to hope for – The Underserving

Stone

I, Michelle Kwa hereby declare that I’m NOT going to buy any diamonds in the future thanks to the movie blood diamond. I’m really glad that I’m exposed to these diamond-trading scenarios which are directly contributing to war and human rights abuses. It’s a really bloody and cursed stone. So many people’s blood and lives are shed just to prove our significance, status and reputation in the society, our GREEDINESS. This luminous thing is undeniably magnificent however to that extent; it’s simply too agonizing and intolerable.

Remember 101 Dalmation? What about Free Willy? Alright, a recent one, Open Season?

What do they have in common?

Not stones, crystals, gold, platinum or rocks we are talking about, but lives, animal lives. Real living creatures like us. We own the same five living processes, growth, reproduction, movement, nutrition and sensitivity. Once we are being able to perform all of these is what makes things living organisms. Of course, we need to sacrifice other living things for survival. That’s why we have food chains and goes on and yada yada yada…

But not to degree of extinction!!!

That’s plain murdering and exploitation.

We are going against the nature and that’s so wrong.

This applies to all sorts of products from food, clothes, and cosmetics to accessories. Ivory, shark fin soup, turtles, lanolin, blubber, fur farming are total brutality. These animals are dying out. They are endangered, hunted, killed and skinned mercilessly.

Most of the time, we’re infuriated as shark fin soup is still served in Chinese wedding dinner although people are educated and aware of these issues nowadays.

When buying stops, killing stops too; it’s just another cliché.

Oh, who cares about that oh-so-umph-celebrity giving oh-so-important-message on oh-so-vanishing- tiger-elephant-sharks-and-so-on? I just want to enjoy my oh-so-bloody-meal which later transforms into an oh-so-aromatic-shit.

Food for Thought

Oh yeah…

Thanks to the earthquake in southern Taiwan, the Internet services are disrupted. I couldn’t feel much of the effects such as bloggers like kinkybluefairy or Lim Kit Siang or whoever because I’m in IPOH now. It feels so good to be home. The homey feeling is unbeatable.

Since New Year is approaching, newspapers have been highlighting the World’s events. Many, as I read through, I can’t help but feel sad and meaningless. I can’t see the whole point of everything, war, terrorism, poverty, disasters, inventions, discoveries and so on. What’s the crux behind the whole thing? Can’t we spell the word P-E-A-C-E? Bloody humans.

Oh yeah…

The crook is death, Saddam Hussien. So, what now? His supporter will place another suicidal boomer in US, Australia, UK? Oh, can’t we learn? What’s the point of learning History?

Sick and tired of hearing all these senseless political issues. Humans are never contented. NEVER. We are a bunch of GREEDY species. No matter how religious and spiritual you may seem. We rationally throw everything that we had learned into waste! We hardly practise what we preach. Talk and talk is what we are best known as.

When we will learn to care more about others and less about us? I’m deeply touched when I watch the Perodua New Year advertisement. It’s 100% true, but what we’re doing now is totally opposite. What we concern about is ourselves, who cares and bothers about OTHER people; sometimes we even abandon our own flesh and blood. That’s how self-centered and selfish our society.

Do something this forthcoming New Year.

Though we can’t help much in financial aspect, we as student can play our role in this society.

Sign a donor card and make your wishes known. Donate your tissue or organ. Some conventional people might give you a big “CHOI-CHOI-TAI-KAH-LAI-SI” or “TOUCH-WOOD TOUCH-WOOD” looks as if you are going to die right after you sign the donor card. Bloody absurd.

Google websites to seek more information on various issues and notify them about your decision instead of goggling which is the best porn websites or friendstering for who’s the best looking chics and hunks. Grow up people. It’s time to act not just sleep.

Sign a petition. Just a click for a change, won’t cause you any loss or harm.

http://www.lightamillioncandles.com

http://www.rdasia.com/donor

Happy New Year.

Santa

That’s called boy-tipping…

Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha…

Those animals in Barnyard are so witty. They are colorful and cheerful, definitely for people like me.

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It’s the year end sale again. Our so-called mega sale is actually bloody misleading. Christmas now is all about presents, Xmas tree, Santa Clause and more presents, getting more and more commercialized. In fact, festivals are targeted to draw consumers to pay out. Valentines’ Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day and all sorts of days are all aimed to appreciate and honor our loved ones. However, there are no obvious or apparent ways or guidelines on how we should celebrate it. These special days are meant to acknowledge the individual and cherish moments with them. Whether we should or not to buy them a gift is up to us to decide on.

On the other hand, what about those who have financial constraints? Is not buying or giving them a present shows that we don’t love or care for them? Why we have to measure love by amounting how expensive or receiving how many gifts? Poor people possess no affection or love in this case. Isn’t seeing your loved ones happy is the best gift in our lives? Or we are just preoccupied with materialism?

We love to compete nowadays, everything stretching from our very first strand of hair till the last bite of our toe nails. May it be our profound sense of inner satisfaction such as competing to feel good, confident, intelligent and secured or something more concrete such contending to have a more gorgeous physical appearance by spending more on designers’ clothes, jewelries, luxurious sport cars and beauty-care products. What we gain after that?

Eventually, we will crave for more. It is never enough. And what’s next? Catching our last breath in our deathbed? And what’s left? Pride? Yes, of course, we’ll be in a bigger and more expensive coffin six feet under. Perhaps, made out of gold, stamped “Made in Italy”, Q.C. passed. Awesome. Spend millions on paper replicas. Multi-stories bungalows, maids, Mercedes, Maid, Cruise, Cash, banks, watches, anything you want, name it. Burn it! Enjoy all those luxurious ashes in heaven (if only we’re virtuous in our past life) or hell (sinful bastards).

——————————————————————————–

The more you own, the happier you are. Otherwise, kalah-lah. Society doesn’t accept losers. Is that so?

Then I’m a loser.

Dear Santa,

Would you put all this presents in my Christmas socks; I do not want to be a loser.

Here is my wish-list. Please fulfill all my dreams and wishes. I know it’s too much, but I can wait. Grant me one wish a year will do, till the day I die, hopefully 80 years old, Santa still having plenty of time to materialize my dreams.

I wish and hope everyone owns same skin color, everyone converses in same language, everyone looks pretty and handsome, everyone has the same level of intelligence, everyone earns the same wages, everyone lives in moderation, no rich and poor people, everyone receives education, everyone has the same food on the table, everyone is sensible and thoughtful, everyone is caring and loving, everyone is sincere, everyone is healthy and fit, everyone loves and protects our mother nature, everyone hates war and poverty…………………………………………………………….

Santa, I will continue a new list next year, please appear in my dream tonight if you agree to it. Deal?

Thank You. I love you.

Mourning

Book-smart? Street-smart?

Yes. I’m 18 years old. A matured 18 years old? Nope. Sorry, daddy. You’re right. I’m not. My mentality doesn’t prepare me to face the real world at all. In fact, my visionary world seems to be so perfect that no one plays an evil or nasty role. Heck, I’m so childish. I’ve got so much to learn other than bloody German, Mathematics and Physics but my own kind, Malaysians. Being able or clever in scoring in exam is not intelligent or smart at all. Let me prove to you. I’m plain naïve and my thinking is simple. My world consists of ONLY good people. When bad people encroach or intrudes, I can’t fight back. In other words, I’m weak. I can’t protect myself, no, not yet. I’m not armed not shielded to fight against them still.

Again, I let my parents down. I can’t even look after of my own brother. Book-smart alone is hell not enough. I could have had anticipated the possible catastrophe, but again, the lack of common sense side of me fail to.

My spirit was high. I was eager to spend my lovely Monday with my brother and Edwin as he’s leaving for Italy the next day. Our beloved lady, Kai Ling ditched us last minute. Otherwise, it would be perfect. We finally decided to take our ever-punctual-and-efficient KTM. Filled with optimism this time, I thought things would have change for better but hell I was so wrong. It turned worst, so much worst. It took so much of effort to reach Mid-Valley, the typical if-I-don’t-push-confirm-kalah-attitude of Malaysian not and mentioning the smell (Indonesian, Bangla and Burmese as well) and the unbearable condition of the train was dreadful.

Still, I found my way to indulge myself in my novel all the way until we reached K.L Sentral. It was that moment that I realized how civilized Malaysians are. God, we have definitely reached our full civilization potential. Not only we are skillful at reading signboards (literate, don’t we?), we can even speak out loud. I’m confident that if Malaysians continue to progress in such pace, our country can for sure generate a great number of good public speakers. Why not? We are experts, talking out loud in cell phones. As if the whole world does not know what color your shit is. Good job. Malaysia Boleh!!

Enough of KTM.

Oh, I just can’t describe the beauty in Mid-Valley anymore.

Those happy moments dashed in seconds. I’m heated, angry and frustrated, who cares about the X’mas tree now. I can’t. I’m sorry Santa.

This nincompoop had to spoil it. He or she ended our blissful day with his or her bloody hand. ‘It’ picked my brother’s pocket. His 2-month birthday pressie, a phone is gone.

Maybe I was too greedy.

It seems to me that pleasant news keeps coming into view in the past few days. What’s next?

Good things are meant for short period of time. It won’t last.

I’ve learned.

A bad news just rolled up.

God bless you it!