…. things I’ve learned from my Homecoming

They say “7” is a magic number.

Let me shed the light, there are seven colours of the rainbow, Seven Wonders of the World, seven sea and continents, seven days of the week, seven deadly sins, even Snow White has seven dwarfs, and don’t ask me why. Though chances that “7” is world’s favourite and lucky number can be highly contested in the sea of more than 1.3 billion Chinese population and more. Well, in the defence of ‘8” of course.

Oh by the way, why 13 is the unlucky number again?

Long story short, this post is a dedication to the 7 things I’ve learned from my 7th month of homecoming back in Bolehland.

1. Thinking

Hang on, let me justify. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking before I came back. In fact, it is something that EVERYONE has to do subconsciously every nano second of every mili day. But the truth is, I never thought that HARD and LONG before.

Working in a think tank both in offensive and defensive modes is like entering a battlefield with war tank. You need to constantly reload your ammunition before firing out. At times, you get shot, at times your enemies go down. Sometimes, firearm is malfunctioned or you misfire. Precision is the key.

“Pen is mightier than sword” is not a new paradigm shift.

However, in order to think critically and put things into perspectives, an enabling environment is crucial. This translates into freedom of speech and most importantly freedom to think.

If opening one’s thinking cap is a REAL effort here, we have a significant imperfect competitive market “cough sedition-cough-law”. In order words, we are entering in the era of thinklobalization without ammunition in our think tank.

2. Driving

Yes. I’m 26 years old and I just passed my driving test last summer. In April this year, I started to drive in the heart of KL for the first time, and to work. I was literally driving like a chicken without head. But hell, I’m glad I’m still kicking today. Hallelujah. Don’t ask me how. To be fair, I kissed a static car costing me a whooping RM 350.

3. Drawing

I see art as one of the most important form or tool of expression In Malaysia. Science to action is so yesterday. Art to action it reaches beyond the artefacts of religion, race and stereotypes. Art creates a vacuum for both vibrant and passive particles. Art generates an abstract and virtual ecosystem where one can seek asylum in the midst of 7 deadliest madness.

4. Balancing

Right and left ideologies, will one reach an equilibrium state? Relative to what state? This is the mantra of slack lining. One has to keep moving and look forward in order to reach its destination.

5. Cycling

Cycling is impossible they say? Tell them that even impossible spells I M possible. No climate and humidity nonsense. Just pick a bike and helmet. Your friends say you’re crazy. Ride and be at awe. Can’t afford RM 2.30 per litre of RON 95? A solution for you. Beef it up.

6. Listening

This is my blind spot. I’ve accepted an ALS Ice booklet challenge. The only rule of this I C Expert (Ice) Advanced Listening Skill (ALS) challenge is to bring a booklet and yes you name it, LISTEN. Experts from all walks of ice, I mean life dump information in my head. Literally giving me chills down my spine. I shudder when it ends. Dampened. The more I know the less I know.

7. Speaking

Malaysians can’t speak at least 2 languages? Shame on you. Malay and English. Owned by everyone. To be honest, I’ve missed my Malay. I love the sound and simplicity of it unlike the sehr strukturierte Sprache wie Deutsch. Malaysia tanah airku. Selamat kembali. Inilah tanah tumpah darahku.!

Tak & Skål

We find love by loving, and not by talking about it.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Fast Facts about Denmark and Sweden:

The Top Five Happiest Countries in the World, meet the Vikings, Blondes, Scandinavians…

1. Denmark

2. Norway

3. Sweden

4. Finland

5. Netherland

Danish : Micheal Learns to Rock and Aqua

Swedish: ABBA, Robyn, Shout out Louds, Lykke Li, and The Cardigans

Danish : LEGO, The little Mermaid, Ugly Duckling, Carlsberg,

Swedish : Volvo, H&M, (Sony) Ericsson, Köttbullar (Swedish Meat Balls), IKEA, Butter Cookies, Falcon, Julian Assange

Foodprint

Photobucket
Every day, tens of millions of one-day-old male chicks are killed because they will not be able to lay eggs. There are no rules about how this mass slaughter takes place. Some are crushed or suffocated to death. Many are used for fertiliser or fed to other animals.

 

I’m ashamed to admit that I put off almost one year to adopt this commitment for real.

I was too chicken to commit to my decision as I was afraid that I will be a burden to my family and friends with my new eating habit.

I was wrong.

Here’s a little story on how it all started:

My first attempt on pure vegetarian diet begun when I was in India. It wasn’t much of a hoo-haa as almost 40% of Indian households are vegetarian. And I’m sure you know the figures better than I do, 40% of 1.2 billion people in total (minus the unreported cases)……. do the math. Daniel, Kalyani and Andy were very encouraging on this matter, the reasons on why I should be a vegetarian were too good for me to resist.

Soon after that I landed home for two weeks and never really mentioned my will of changing my diet to my family. I know that they wouldn’t be particularly supportive plus who would actually give up the only 2 weeks full of TLC with family I have. I didn’t want to make a fuss out of it.

Then I was back in Hamburg at end of September 2010, I continued my meatless diet for almost 2 months before I got diagnosed with Shingles. Doctor claimed that my immunity was low and prone to suffer from diseases so he suggested that I should get back to my normal nourishment for that period of time. Shortly after that, it was Christmas and New Year’s Eve, friends, parties and get-together, I got carried away and cornered the idea in the name of not “jeopardizing” my health.

When Katja and I made a pledge of a 30-Days-without-meat mission together, I was in cloud nine. We pulled that off  before I head home for my Winter break.

My plan disrupts whenever I’m not cooking at home or having lunch in my school’s cafeteria because I tend to be “weak” when it comes to dining out with friends.

Nevertheless on THIS day, I’m so blessed that  a friend gave me strength and inspired me again to push forward where I’ve started.

Therefore, in conjunction with the World Children’s Day and World’s Environmental Day this year, I dedicate my pledge of effort for our children of tomorrow and an act to reduce my environmental and ecological footprint.

Minimalism

Photobucket

Minimalistic Feather from hinomori

 

Since the last five years, the idea of minimalism has slowly creeped into me unconsciously.
I’ve never intended to worship or assign myself into certain cults, categories or whatsoever. I strongly believe and digest the fact that it’s completely OK to be different!
Some say I’m a hippie because I listen to Bob Marley, smoke weed, support Greenpeace and preach about veganism.
Some say I’m a dreamer and shallow because I’m too engrossed in my perfect little world.
And to be honest, I still do not know what is the definition of a hippie.

Whatever it is, I’m proud to declare my official journey of becoming a minimalist today.

Live simply so others may simply live. -Dalai Lama

After Jonathan’s departure from life, I started seeing things in a bigger picture in many ways. I’m learning and training myself to let go of everything I fear of losing.

I packed my bags with little money and left for India for two months and experienced more than anything I’ve learnt in my two years of University. There’s life out there, without possessions, greed, scepticism but purely trust, sincerity and openness.

Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is – Yoda.

I’m happier now than I ever was owning all of those things people told me would ‘make me happy’. The idea that my society has been hammering and drilling in me since young has proven utterly false over and over again.

Minimalism is all about having enough. It’s about having only what you need, no more, and especially no less.
It’s about finding happiness in what we have already, instead of chasing something that is always out of reach.

It’s true, in a big way, that minimalists have less. We have fewer clothes, shoes and accessories. We have smaller houses. We may have no possessions but we definitely have more of what life is made of. – Jessica, minimal student

Ask ourselves again, it is worth standing up, going against the flow and start making a change?

But does that mean we live unhappier lives?

Is it always worse to have less?

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!

Trance

Photobucket

Did I mention that his performance was orgasmic!

It was so intensive that I got really emotional and overwhelmed.

Just him and his guitar, completely washed me way.

Great music is like a deliverance, it brings us to the zone and carry us into a trance state, where our mind and soul is purified.

Photobucket

Noah and the Whale for my Birthday!

Thank you for your music!

Appreciate every damn moment!

Recently, I put myself in a situation where I foolishly find it funnily valuable.

I love life! It brings up so many opportunities and reveals to us so many little surprises that make us whole. And the best part, you never stop learning! It’s a whole darn discovery every damn day! ENJOY and SIEZE the DAY!

I want to share with you, an article from my Zen Master, Leo Babauta who just turned 38 and delighted me with his 38 lessons.

Continue reading

My Little White Tiger

It’s almost 2 weeks to 2011!

It’s amazing how 2010 turned up to be. It has been a wonderful journey and I’m absolutely grateful by the grace I’ve been showered with by Him. Everything. Never once have I had a slightest pinch of regret and wanting to undo any of my paths taken.

I’m thankful for my health that gives me strength, appreciation and power to carry on with all that I’m able to do. I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for the blessings.

I’m truly thankful to everyone who has crossed my path. People, whom I adore, people who has never given up on me, people with whom I’ve shared laughter, food, energy, time, love, warm hugs and joy with. I’m thankful for my parents, sisters, brothers and friends, people whom I can call on and turn to in any moment to be by my side through joy or sorrow.  I will cherish and miss every single part of it, the good and of course the bad.

I’m grateful for hope, the hope that does not fail us. The hope that one day, I’ll be able to fulfill my inner satisfaction by doing things that I enjoy and being with the people care and love most.

I’m thankful that I can laugh and put laughter on someone else. I’m thankful that I’m privileged to be able to feel, see, hear, smell, listen, and talk and above all to think.

I’m thankful for 2010.

Stars and Boulevards

People grow. 18 years of life. I’ve come this far. Have I seen enough? Well, it’s my random thought. Life is just too insignificant. We don’t live to just to exist. We live because we have dreams and goals to achieve. We live because we think we can make a difference. Call me naive and innocent. I don’t live because I have to. I live because I want to. Everything in my life now is just to monotonous. My conscience and scruples are clear.

I WANT TO

#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 African girl and Burmese boy
#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 a 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

I DISLIKE

#1 Favouritism
#2 Discrimination
#3 Prejudice
#4 Surplus
#5 Poverty
#6 Diseases
#7 Marginalization
#8 Corruption
#9 War
#10 Suffering

There are just too many for me to list down. But I care. At least these are the things that I concern and dwell on.