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Leaving the Field

Leaving the Field

Been away every two weeks the past 3 months and it’s kinda wearing me out again. Travelling does that to you sometimes and that’s ok. It just means that you’ll have to be more attentive about what your body needs than what you want out of something.

A familiar territory I’ve been threading way too often this year.

I was looking at the photos from my memory card and this just stood out from one of my many solo wanderings in Melbourne two weeks ago.

I like being invisible, it’s kinda like a comfort zone mode for me. Walking makes me feel therapeutic especially when my mind is tangled in a million knots.

That’s also probably why i feel like I’m “trapped” while I’m in KL, then whenever I do feel like I need to take a walk, I can’t. It’s just not safe. Kids don’t go out and play anymore, which makes us lose that bit of humanity deep down. It’s sad and no one’s doing anything about it..at least not yet.

You know, I could rant about the epidemic that is Malaysia forever but I shall not.

Too much sadness in Danywhere, I’m turning it into a downer.

While I was walking along Flinder’s Lane looking at the graffiti, I met a few artists working on their tagging. I thought it was pretty cool that they were unfazed by my presence despite my worry they’d be kicking me out from their territory. So while I was watching them painting, I realised that these alleys are actually dump area but due to the amount of spay painting these people have been doing, the foul smell were non-existent and replaced by aerosol. It’s interesting tho, to see how they’ve (indirectly in the beginning) converted an alley no one would go to one of the number one spot people want to check out.

Of course, there’s always the never ending debate about vandalism vs art when it comes to graffiti but when you make a space, a public gallery to encourage their creativity to flow and send out a message from their mind, it could easily be a positive outcome. Eventually, it becomes a tourist attraction.

Yes, as much as underground despise the idea of selling-out, as long as your message is sent out, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Just a bit of ego is being compromised but otherwise, I think it’s a good source of inspiration for others.

See that’s the thing about art. You just never know who you’ll be touching and making a change. Just the fact that you’re about to reach out to just one person makes what you do go to the next level. And that will not happen until the day you decide to put yourself out there.

So, in the end it all goes back to the very core – why are you doing what you are doing?

When you’re able to identify that part, your ego will step back and motivation takes over.

It’s just too bad that I wasn’t able to see Banksy’s work in Melbourne. Shall talk about that next time.

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Hey Cherating, Love is a Balancing Act.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein

Royal Botanical Gardens

When I was in Melbourne last June, Nuds and I were walking at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was the perfect place I wanted to end this trip of mine, one I followed his suggestion without any question. As we were walking aimlessly, there was a question he asked me which still rings in my ear today.

“Do you think you’ll migrate out of Malaysia?”

Given our history, growing up together, this question has been in everyone’s mind for years, in fact decades. Five years ago or even before that, I would have answered yes in a heart beat. Without thinking at all, I knew that would be my answer. No freaking doubt.

But as decades go by, I took a minute to digest. I know whatever answer I give, he’s one to never judge me. Who knows me inside and out.

“Maybe when I’ve got nothing else to give to Malaysia, I will.”

He gave me that boyish smile of his, like he knew what my answer was.

Melbourne Park

Then, last Wednesday when I got the chance to go on a firefly tour in Cherating, Pahang.. what I’ve prepped myself up for two decades turned it’s table with one humble man.

While sitting in a small room listening to this exuberant person, I was convinced he’s heavily influenced by Japanese culture. Or at the very least, must have studied with a Japanese. Everything about him, the way he speak, his body language and intonation, everything just reminded me of how a (passionate) Japanese would act. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s been learning with a firefly expert from Japan, Prof Ohba Nobuyoshi the past four years.

I’ve not been in a room with someone as animated of a character like him, this firefly whisperer by the name of Mohd Hafiz. He sure puts a smile on my face that night, just seeing him explaining about his love for non-syncronised fireflies just lifts my spirit that much higher.

Here’s a video I managed to capture, and at the right time too. Do ignore the last few seconds. Sorry about that.

I’ve always relate back the experience being around fireflies as a magical experience, the closest feeling to what Disney tends to gravitate to. This time around, with Hafiz around, that experience just got elevated 35364 times more!

It’s in the way he waves his wand red torch light that he’s able to speak with fireflies, requesting for them to go where he wants them to go. Who would’ve thought that there’s such study about firefly communication. Each flicker, wave means something. Ah, it just felt like I was in a different world – one we Malaysians are blessed by this fragile spirits yet we never knew much about.

Apparently, this particular firefly “language” he speaks is only meant for the non-synchronised fireflies – fireflies that are able to live in any mangrove trees (which are deem as the tougher breed) and they don’t flicker in the same rhythm. The ones we’re used to in Kuala Selangor are syncronised fireflies (Photinus Carolinus)- they huddle together in one group and in one specific tree. For obvious reason, they all flash at the same time, same beat. How did he know this? He experimented it and came to this very conclusion.

Pretty neat research isn’t it?

On top of that, he’s recognised by Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) which is an important status I might add.

So, what’s so awesome about this experience that you’ll need to go to Cherating, to be more specific – Hafiz’s? The thing is, only Hafiz gets to command for the fireflies to come to him, and they’ll flicker all around you. He’s capable of getting these little ones fly to where you are and be surrounded by them. Other similar tours just point to the firefly at the tree. That’s the special part.

Because the mangrove area is only seven kilometers, we took a boat which could fit in about eight people. That’s probably the only thing that I wish we could do better. Although, one boat can cost up to RM30,000; too big of an amount to spend right now. Honestly, despite Hafiz mentioning that Cherating’s mangrove area is a small one .. just being out there in the dark in the boat for seven kilometers per way is one I felt so happy about. In Kuala Selangor, you’ll prolly get a kilometer north and south but that’s about it. This one, it really felt like we were on a mission. One helluva adventure I might add.

Unfortunately, my trusty TG820 is incapable of taking any photos of the fireflies. I accepted that fact and captured those moments in my mind instead. You’ll just have to go there to know what I’m talking about.

Hafiz Cherating Firefly

You know how animals have wicked instinct about Mother Nature and what’s to come? Hafiz told a story about how he was in a boat with a passenger who wanted to check out these fireflies and his magic powers. When they were in the mangrove area, he tried calling out the fireflies but they refused to come to him. I wish I could demonstrate to you the way Hafiz narrates his story. It’s so fascinating. Anyway, so they (the fireflies) told him it’s going to rain heavily in a few minutes (when fireflies are hiding under the leaves and didn’t want to come out, it means they are shielding themselves from rain) but his passenger didn’t believe him, said the sky is clear, there’s no rain. Hafiz was adamant, if they were going to be out there in the dark any longer, it will be a big problem. So he turned around. Lo and behold, rain poured heavily the next minute just as they were nearing the jetty.

That’s probably when his passenger knew how special Hafiz is. He should, I hope.

I know what you’re thinking (or maybe not), where’s that heartbreaking part I’ve been talking about?

When we got off the jetty after an hour of awesomeness, I was determined to have a chat with the firefly whisperer. I don’t know what aura he has but it’s very alluring. It’s even more exciting to know that he also does other activities if you’re a nature person. The mangrove cruise we got to experience the morning after is another must do. I’m not a fan of reptiles or amphibians but just being here with them made me feel at peace for a short while. That I was doing my best pushing the thoughts about not taking action in taking care of our environment, ’tis too shall pass.

Sigh.

I can’t tell you how amazing I felt being out there with nature. It just felt so right, so wonderful..I swear my heart could’ve exploded with glee.

But..everything just went downhill from here on, the moment I hear his stories. Albeit they are not bad just for someone like him, I wish I could do something, help making something better for him.

Hafiz Cherating Firefly

So this magician, this whisperer we got to know for mere hours is actually from Myanmar. He ran to Kuantan in the 1980s when Myanmar had a major political conflict. At first he and his friend went to Thailand but found it difficult to learn Thai to survive so they decided to extend their journey to Kuantan where they worked in a local restaurant for 20 odd years. It’s from there that he learned Bahasa Malaysia.

Don’t be fooled easily, Hafiz is as bright as they come – B.A. in History from Rangoon University and a degree in Civil Engineering from Singapore. And after 25 years of settling here in Kuantan, it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t get a Malaysian Citizenship despite all his effort in keeping our eco system balanced. To know that he couldn’t go to a firefly symposium in America next year because of his refugee status just shattered my heart. It’s not that he hasn’t tried to appeal, it sounded like he has may times but things just falls apart along the way.

The thing is, he discovered his love for fireflies purely by accident. It was when he decided to take the boat out for a run along the river that he realised his hidden talent. That’s when he made a point to study about fireflies and make his place as part of a research center (well somewhat). He even held a dialogue with other firefly experts from around the world at his little corner of the world, discussing about everything and anything revolving around fireflies. Right now they are researching on a particular chemical from the fireflies.

Can you imagine the kind of mind-blowing, earth changing things that could happen if he is being supported by the right channel? The fact that he’s not even Malaysian to begin with and fights for our eco system is something I just cannot swallow. Purely because, here is someone who’s never seen fireflies, chose to be in Malaysia because of the incident back home yet we who inherit all the wealth and peace take our environment for granted.

The things is, it’s not just fireflies he’s fighting for. This man here even went to the sea and saved a lost Tapir. A friend of his called him up one day, telling him about this Tapir in the sea. Hafiz knew Tapir cannot survive in water and so, he took his boat to the sea, threw the rope like a cowboy and brought the Tapir back to the land. Blessed his pure soul, it’s people like him that makes me want to fight the good fight in Malaysia. There are still so many souls out there doing what he does, fighting for our future but are neglected just the same.

Hafiz Cherating Firefly 2

From what I gather, people all over recognised him for what he does and loves but we don’t recognised him as one of us. Yet you get stories like Bangladeshis who come to Malaysia with an identity card (IC) in hand. It just doesn’t make sense, not by a mile. Makes me so angry that I want to help but don’t know how. Politic world is not one you want to get your hands dirty but if no one cleans it up, what we have today is history tomorrow.

On top of that, he only charge RM25 per head for the tour. For something this amazing with someone with heart of a champion, I wouldn’t mind paying RM40 because at least I know that extra money will go into his research. It’s times like this I wonder to God, why would he put these brilliant spirits in this situations. I dunno. I’ll pray better things will come for all the hard work he’s put into. The fact that he goes out with his team three times a week to clean the river is beyond admirable. It’s no wonder the mangrove is spotless.

You know you have so much respect for yourself when everything you do, you do it with respect.

“I tried passing this knowledge to my brother-in-law, everything I know but in the end if you don’t have the heart, it just doesn’t work.” Mohd Hafiz bin Abdul Majid said when asked if he trains other people.

Cherating Mangrove

When I go back to Nuddin’s question and I think of heroes like Hafiz, I feel like I have a responsibility to do here. At least for now, until Malaysia couldn’t tolerate me anymore. If all the good ones go away from their nest, who’s going to defend? And therein lies so many questions in my mind, uncertainties, dreams and hopes.

I guess as a dwarf, I can only take it one day at a time and hopefully a little piece of what I do in life makes Mother Nature feel a little bit better. Also for the rest of us who depend on her to be healthy.

Side Note: Anis wrote an awesome piece about Hafiz for News Straits Times yesterday. You should definitely read The Magic of Hafiz and The Fireflies. And if you wish to check out other activities in Cherating by Hafiz, check out his blog and facebook fanpage Hafiz’s Cherating Activities.

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Cherating, My Heart Breaks For You

Cherating Haze

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” ― John Lubbock.

Throughout my entire journey in Cherating and Kemaman, I was struggling to keep the voice in my head quiet. There’s that unsettling feeling burning inside me, one I don’t know what to do with besides going on for the ride. I guess the voice of reason can’t be in silent when the ground we walk on is shaken.

We woke up on Thursday morning, a very early one at that in hopes to catch the sunrise at Cherating Beach. Honestly, the last time I remember attempting at doing this was back in Bagan Lalang, Selangor (2011). Before that, Sanur, Bali (2009). Otherwise, I wouldn’t be bothered by it. Yet on this trip, I was determined to do so. Don’t know why.

The moment we unlocked the door, my body stiffen. “Who the heck burns rubbish this early?!” I grumbled to Anis, still half awake then. Thinking it was still too dark, we took a slow walk to the beach. Still hoping, praying in fact for a good morning.

With our cameras in tow, we looked up and boy, the sky was anything but happy. Very moody actually. Slowly as time passes by, it got brighter and the photo above was the view that welcomed us. So, all that effort to catch the sunrise were put to rest when we realised it was haze all this while. It was the answer to my early morning mystery.

No wonder I woke up with rash all over my body that morning.

You would think, it being September and all, we’d be done with haze (for the year at least) but sadly, this one looked pretty bad. So bad, it continued to crawl right up to Legend Resort‘s swimming pool area. Not exactly the kind of morning you’d wanna wake up to and suddenly I got a text from Nigel;

“Just woke up. Doesn’t look like we get to see the sun today.”

You got that right buddy.

Legend Resort Cherating

And there I was, trying to figure out what I was feeling. You see, this dwarf here is sensitive to fragile things. I get so easily affected by anything – people cutting down trees or an injured animal lying helplessly. And the only thing I could do is pray for their well being, our well being. Here’s the thing, once upon a time, people kept telling me not to be too sensitive over things and I would get so repulsive because it only meant that I was not good enough. But as I grow older, I found a way to slowly mask these feelings..just not enough to have control over it hundred percent.

The thing is, it’s not that I want to be sensitive. I’m just built that way.

Having said that, when I’m greeted by such scene in front of my eyes, I have nothing but sadness and anger for Mother Nature. Here she is sacrificing herself for our benefits and all we’ve been doing is constantly raping her. I feel so ashamed, so dumbfounded because this is not a problem we’ve only just stumbled upon; in fact it has been at least 15 years since our first introduction to this filthy air YET nothing has been done to solve the issue. If anything, it had gotten worst by the year.

Where have we done wrong (or done nothing at all)? How can we face this right in the face and settle it? All we’ve ever done is complain that the weather is too hot, too humid..just not the way we wanted it to be. Never about how we can make it better. The thing is, global warming is one enemy you never want to mess with. It comes in different shapes and forms, and once it strike, it takes the entire place down without a warning. Take Europe for example when they had the cold wave last year. So many homeless people died on the streets because no one expected the weather to go as low as -39.2°C. That’s all global warming’s job and why did it happened? We keep on cutting trees like we change clothes everyday. Worst in fact.

I admit, I can be very intense when it comes to things I care deeply. Nature falls into that for some reason and when people ask me how my trip was, they were shocked when I told them I felt heartbroken for three days. “Your feed seems to say otherwise” is what they said. Which is true, I had fun but more than anything, deep inside, I was broken into pieces discovering the sacred part of Malaysia. The most beautiful yet so very fragile side of Cherating and Kemaman are under fire because of greed. Greed to develop land for their own pocket. We don’t realise this, not until it’s too late that what we have in Malaysia is perhaps one of the most richest resource in the world.

By right, we should be one of the richest country with strong economy.

Cherating Mangrove Cruise

Alas, that wasn’t the case. Not when the mentality keeps on feeding with money that can’t be brought to the grave. Much less when the earth has nothing else to offer, and then what?

I had a good session with several eco warriors who don’t even know they are fighting tooth and nail defending Mother Nature but deep in their hearts, it’s all they want to do. Listening to their struggles and quest to keep our nature together is not for the faint of heart. These are the heroes, storytellers I want to talk about in my next post. One is a firefly whisperer and another is a turtle ranger guardian. I’ll even throw in a bird lover too.

So you see, deep in Cherating lies all this secrets, her magic is not about the activities you can do but the people who help nurture and preserve the way she deserves to be. These are the kind of people we should be encouraging to live and prosper. The kind that sees the importance in loving Mother Nature for who she is and not just for what she can give you. We don’t have to go far, take LYNAS for example. It’s in Kuantan for god sake, or rather in the works to set up there. If Aussies ’emselves don’t want anything to do with it, why are we freely accepting this darkness into our territory? Again, money talks but we have 23 million voices and so far only one million has spoken about taking action against LYNAS in Kuantan, Pahang. They can tell you it’s safe, it’s not going to do any harm but truth is, it’s all bullshit. The first thing to get affected would be our ecosystem, the wild animals and their habitats. Then the locals and the rest of the world.

Why should we care so much about our environment you say?

Well, for one, you’re breathing, drinking, eating and sleeping well because of Mother Nature. Imagine if there’s no trees – there won’t be any oxygen. No clean water, no more food but processed ones and landslide happening every now and then. Can you live in that situation? Truly believe you could with those bugging you?

Cherating Beach Storm

Even when there’s a storm coming, she was able to take my breath away.

I think we need to be more aware and dedicated to taking care this environment of ours like it’s our own children. For now, do take a minute or two to Take Action! Stop Lynas. If we are not defending our rights, who else gonna do it?

This is my story, a prologue if you will to get the right message out about protecting our environment. This trip has changed so much in me, fueled my hunger to fight for the good cause even more. Therefore, I’d like to thank Anthony for inviting me on this trip. I just need to draft out the other two stories about this heartbreaking journey of mine. Someone has to write about the unpopular topics and it might not bode well with some people but let that person be me.

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Obscura 2013: Finding Familiarity in Art with Chemat

Treat everything we do like it’s a form of art.

I was watching Masterchef Australia Season 4 which Heston Blumenthal was part of the Mega Invention Test. Dude’s most known for his insane creation by merging two unthinkable ingredients together.

Masterchef Australia Season 4 Episode 49 Heston Blumenthal

Photo Credit: Corner Cafe

Anyway, while watching the episode and when he said something along the lines of being in a creative space and under pressure to create something is what’s most exciting – and that thought brought me back to Chemat‘s Street Photography Masterclass workshop during Obscura 2013 last June.

That was exactly how I would’ve explained the intensity throughout my trip then. I’ve spoken highly of this 10 days program and was so inspired that I’m hoping a project I’m working on would see the light of day and have some sense of belonging as it did with Obscura.

Many asked me what it was like during the 3 days workshop in Georgetown, Penang. I only have this to say,

Mind Blowing

I don’t know how else I could have word it out so excuse my french.

I hear whispers, words of terror that Chemat is one to be feared. And yours truly has every right to be afraid too, I mean this is one of the legends in Malaysia we’re talking about.

“Well, worst case is, he won’t like what you do and make you do it again” a friend said.

Right. Like that’s any comfort to my anxious mind.

But it turns out, he’s a lion to his students in MMU. Outside of it all, he’s really a humble man who’s willing to impart knowledge on you. So much wasted brain cells on feeling scared, I learned to relax as we go along during his briefing.

There were about 13 of us. Maximum was 10 but I can see why so many were so eager to register for his session. We were made of from different parts of the world – Washington, Dakar, Germany, Bali, Singapore..basically everywhere around the world. I went into this session alone but end up anything but that.

Obscura Chemat Group Photo

The weirdest part during Chemat’s briefing on Day 1 was that, I was the only one busy live tweeting while the rest make mental notes as he walk us through what makes a street photography, history, etiquettes and more. The things he shared with us were so valuable, I think everyone would get something out of it .. therefore I retreat to the medium I’m more familiar with. I might’ve spammed my followers with bits and pieces of Che Mat’s wise word, hopefully someone find it useful.

China House Obscura Chemat

Before this, I never thought street photography to have such depth. All this while, I’ve been accustomed to just snapping as I go along – he made us stop, think and find meaning in each frame. He made us throw our bad habits; we had to unlearn to relearn this new approach. Street is always about the moment we capture and it still is, just that the technique and mentality has been turned 270 degrees.

Obscura Tweets

After his briefing, we went out together as a group with Chemat. First part of the day was the theory section. The second part is the practice. I was still intimidated and unsure but slowly I found reassurance with myself. Partly because I was still figuring out my new camera. Talk about throwing myself into the sharks.

We were brought to spots Chemat tend to do his shoots, taught us how to be approachable, respect strangers and just simply be. Stick around next to the legend and you’ll pick up details like composing before snapping, waiting and anticipating for a moment to happen and think about the subject before shooting. It’s these nuances that made him great, these nuances that he wants more people to apply into their habit.

Obscura Festival Chemat Street

See, there are a few points Chemat had mentioned which I find most profound. One of which was that – even if you went out and do your usual street photography, it’s ok to come home with nothing (good). So long as you keep doing it, eventually you’ll get something. In today’s world, people want quick fix and instant results. Which isn’t how life works as a whole but people are still adamant to make it happen that way. Having him stressing out the importance of letting go of expectations, you find more patience in everything you do. It’s that secret power you harness what makes your photos tell a deeper story, a better one than before and hopefully one that resonates with other people who view it too.

After all, if a photo is unable to bring out the emotions it speaks, it’s only just a photo. A two dimensional one.

Then there’s the wisest statement I’ve heard in a long time – he also stressed out the importance of one particular street photography rule. Never ever take photos of beggars ( and visually impaired musicians) on the street. That is not street photography by any means. If anything, you’re exploiting their unfortunate lives for your own benefit. Unless you’re doing a story about them, understanding who they are and intend to make your story help them in a positive way, then don’t ever. Taking advantage of others who couldn’t do anything about their situation without purpose is just insensitive.

That’s his rule of thumb. Something we all can apply into our daily life. Think before we share, speak or do something. If we’re doing it just because we want to be part of something (without deeper purpose), there is no point in doing it. Do something with purpose. Do something good.

And it’s always good to have principles to hold on to. At the very least, when you go off track, you can look back and ground yourself to what/who/where you truly are. You’ll pick up these tricks along the way as you discover yourself. Be constantly curious and adaptable.

What did I learn at the end of the trip? What I thought my strengths were was otherwise not the case and I found out that I’ve got a knack for graphic things. I’m more drawn to those and having him pointed it out to me when we were reviewing our pieces really shed so much light into what street photography is all about. So that 2/3 of the day images I took were not hitting the mark now that I had a new direction. So off I went waking up 6am and walked to the other side of Penang, waited and anticipated for moments.

I sat for more than an hour outside Komtar. No one was around at that time, one could just cross the road easily. I went to this place the day before, but didn’t get the shot I wanted. Given that I only had until 9am to get my shit together, I look for something..anything really and found a possibility.

And sometimes..the good stuff happens through accidents.

That was exactly the case with this particular photo I took as part of the concept. The 5th photo that made into the presentation list. Wasn’t part of the plan but it became THE plan. I was trying to capture the uncle at the shop lot but then, a pack of dogs decided to photo-bombed.

Yep, this was the result of that. The one I didn’t expect to snap but I did. In that moment, I finally understood what Chemat has been talking about. Waiting for that moment, composing the subject and just be patient. Everything he said throughout his talk wrapped into one image.

Obscura Street Photography Chemat

So y’know, it helps to go with the flow when it comes to things that’s beyond your control. You’re more relaxed, open-minded and accepting of things. I like this.

When it was time for our final group review before slideshow that evening, I was as nervous as a noob can be. What more being among the most talented bunch of cool people in this class..geez, I’m like somewhere at the bottom. However, that’s not the point of joining this session..I brought back so much more, in fact it helped boost my confidence just a little bit more. We all know what a mess I can be when it comes to the public, having people actually sit and anticipating for our work was every bit a nerve wrecking experience for me. One that was projected to an empty wall at the temple opposite China House with people lying down on the grass and more on the bench, oi, some experience that was! To be honest, so many times I felt like getting out of the place, not wanting for people to see what I shot the past one day. Shout out to Anis for the moral support 🙂

Having a good collection of photos, street photography for that matter is no easy task. It’s something that’s almost out of your control – whatever the result of your photos may be. But patience.. that’s all it takes to build up something good.

As for Chemat, you students are lucky to have him as your lecturer. As strict as he is..it will carry with you to the end. Don’t bother hoping for someone who’s more delicate with you, you bunch of lucky folks.

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Safe

Right now. This very moment, all I want to do is take my car keys and go.

Just go somewhere, shut the voices in my head. To be on constant speed where all I need to focus is the drive.

That’s how I’m feeling right this very second.

Just when I think emotions can be all-consuming, I find a way to release it before coming terms with whatever I have to face with.

Today, I realised I have a couple of things to work on. Like humans, we’re always a work in progress.

I’m a work in progress.

Maybe, just maybe He made me love driving so much is because deep down – if there’s anything I could grab a hold of, it’s the keys. The one that keeps me still and grounded.

Without it, I would be shattered into pieces.

Driving to me is not just getting from A to B. It’s a therapy to my haywire mind. The machine that untangles.

My mode to travel through space. In bad times and good.

Driving is my sanctuary.

I don’t have to go far. All I need is me and my car. That’s what travel means to me. With good music, whether it’s early morning or late night.

It makes me feel a lot more sane and closer to Him.

As ridiculous as that may sound, that’s how it is and I haven’t done this in a while.

Perhaps I should be doing that. Just go. Go wherever it wants to take me. That sidekick of mine.

With Bonnie Bailey’s Safe in mind, all that matters is going for a drive. Feeling safe.

That and I have to finally come to terms with certain things that I’ve been grieving for years. I hope today, I’ll be able to put a stop to it. Overcome it without feeling like I could’ve done something but nothing more I could do.

Ok before I rant anymore nonsense. Who’s up for a drive?

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Busking in Music: Joe Moore & Smile

One of my favourite things to do while walking around Sydney was the sounds of Joe Moore crooning. There was one time when he sang Dancing in the Moonlight and despite having other places to go, I made a stop just to listen to the song at Pitt Street.

In that moment, I couldn’t have found a more perfect moment.

Despite being a pretty busy city, when you find a way to tune out the buzz of Sydney; you’ll get to know the more sentimental side.

My first encounter with Joe Moore was in the evening while waiting for Syiks to finish work. This is his original song called Smile and there’s always a crowd when he strum.

Wanted to get his album but didn’t have small change. But hey, he’s on Facebook. So yay!

https://www.facebook.com/joemooremusic

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Down Under Healing Formulas

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I’ve been trying to write, every single day. Not because I had to in order to get this place active but because I want to.

Too many words, phrases, emotions..all boiling in one pot in my mind. Yet I don’t know what to do with it.

So everyday I sit, I pen it all out but at the end of the day, it’s left hanging. Either unfinished or I’m not satisfied with the delivery.

Today, I scrap everything off. Starting fresh. Still don’t know which direction I’ll be taking but I hope to end up with something closer.

I’ve always written about travel as a means of searching for something. More than anything, searching for myself. A bit vague to go places to look for something you don’t know what it is yet for some reason somewhere somehow you manage to findit. Whatever it is.

Since Australia happened, all that searching sort of stopped.

Like I’ve completed my rounds. I call it a full circle.

I could go as far as finding my closure.

And that’s silly, what on earth do I have connection with Australia to have closures anyway?

My past.

That’s what it was. Everything Australia held were my past and I finally returned after 17 years because I’ve got my head straighter. Feet firmer on the ground.

I have gathered a bit more knowledge about who I am and what I’m here for by Him.

So this task in Australia, as grand as the continent itself; it also buried so many memories inter-related to all the things I’ve done and met. While some of it are ghosts to my memories, I have to face it up front in order to move forward.

And that’s exactly how it turned outwithout planning to.

My late grandma’s memories were one of the biggest culprit to this self discovery journey. The thing is, I still do push any thoughts of her at the backof my mind, so far behind, sometimes when it pops up, I get a sudden surge like it just happened yesterday and get overwhelmed by it.

And then I shove it back again.

My first trip to Australia was with her. One and only trip with her. So having to fly on my own this time was somewhat strange to me..I guess. Despite flying solo many times before, this was different. Don’t know why.

It being Queen’s Birthday the day after I arrived, Syiks had a day off and we spent the entire day and night out in Sydney doing the things we love. Whale watching was one of the agenda I was really looking forward to. She didn’t know there was such a thing so close to her and I’m glad we did it for the first time.

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So many childhood memories crashed over me like a tsunami the whole time but I tried to keep it at bay. Somewhat hard but eh, just enjoy the ride.

During the speed boat ride, I manage to spot the hill we once stayed back in the day. I remember being in love with the sight. The cliff. The space. It still looked the same today.

I remember even back then I was struggling to find myself because I grew up thinking I should be a certain type out of a cookie cutter yet deep inside I knew I’m never going to be that. Struggle it was, still is but I’m stronger to fight for it now. Back then I didn’t know any better.

Therefore, I kept doing things the unusual way, say and act differently.

Watching the whales in it’s entirety was a gift from God. It’s so good to know that the Aussies know how to balance developing a country and taking care of Mother Nature. Every time I see a bald patch, it feels like someone break my heart into pieces.

To know that there wereonly 200 whales a decade or so ago left and since then they’ve took every action to stop the killing, today there’s about at least 20,000 over whales. Good job Australia, good job.

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We also spent the afternoon at Circular Quay, where the Opera House is situated. Just chilling out, watching the sun setting two days straight was a magical experience to me. The day before it was on the plane, this time on the steps of the Opera House. My favorite discovery on this day was the Opera Bar. The live band playing contemporary music with a jazz touch was perfect. So perfect, I didn’t want to leave.

What I like about Syiks is that, in some ways, maybe she doesn’t even know it (or maybe she does?) – she knows when to just let me be. Just hang around. If I don’t talk, she’s ok with it too. We sat at the steps of Opera House for at least 2 hours.

I love that. I just love that part.

Being able to indulge without being indulgent and she lets me be.

It’s perhaps one of my best memories for as long as I’ve lived. If I were to stay here, this would be one of the things I would do often.

We passed Manly Terminal and photographs I took back when I was 11 did a slide show on it’s own. I remember posing with my grandma and not so willing to take with her at one point in my orange turtleneck top.

I’m still that – not so willing to take photo of myself. Sometimes, I’m sure it can be annoying.

Australia (it started with the journey from Canberra to Sydney) was also the point when I started film photography. And wouldn’t you know it – after being on hiatus for more than a year since my old E-510 went on comatose, I’m back on the horse again with this trip, armed with a one week old sidekick.

He is quite the mastermind. The Scriptwriter and Producer to my story. All I can do is just bask in His greatness, the only way he knows how. He is my greatest Storyteller. There’s never one point in my life where I’m not mesmerised as He orchestrated my life, leaving trails along the way for me to thread together.

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Since Vivid Sydney’s last night fell on Queen’s Birthday, the entire city lit up vibrantly for the last time. I felt so overwhelmed, what with the memories of the past and to experience what passion can do to a country. God, I’ve never felt so much excitement in my life then to see art taking the stage in all sorts of medium. To see that everyone interacted with it was what gave me so much more inspiration and happiness.

It made me realised that art is not just for the selected few, the elite ones or the eccentric minds. It’s for all to enjoy and when you bridge ideas and public together, you create something so amazing, it becomes an identity. That’s what Vivid was all about. I’m so glad, I managed to fly down and be part of it even though it wasn’t planned.

Here’s the thing, people kept asking me what I’ll be doing while I’m in Australia. Honestly? I have no idea but to chill out. I walked, I took my time, I spoke to so many people I never knew and it was my kind of trip. It was different from any other trips I’ve done in the past. Didn’t have a schedule, don’t have to run for something or be somewhere. All I did was purely going with the flow from the moment I woke up at Syiks’ apartment right up to grabbing dinner with her and exchanged stories about what we did the whole day. Telling her my new found love forAboriginal art was one of the highlights of my museum visits too.

It was just different.

I won’t lie, I did imagine what I’ll be like if I were to move here and this would be it.

That is until our roadtrip to Newcastle happened and I found my exact visual in my mind of escapism. Nobby’s Beach in winter was painted exactly the way I had imagined since I was a kid if I have a place to run to for peace.

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Many a times, I would say that I’m no beach person but I can imagine me coming here just to find solace. Especially when there’s no one. It’s just that piece of heaven on Earth I wish to have close to me.

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In a way, I’m lucky to have known Syiks because Newwie (as I’ve been accustomed to for a decade) is where her family is from. Unfortunately it was a short trip as we had to run back to Sydney the night after to catch a flight to Melbourne early morning.

I named this road trip as my mini Great Ocean Road trip. Each one will be explained better in another post. Right now, I need to settle this tangled emotions that’s been incubating inside.

Having never been to Melbourne before but had more than my fingers could count friends being here throughout my life, I’ve heard so many good things about it. About how I would love it and that it’s so me.

Took me 28 years to be here alright and I can see why I would love it.

The one thing I forgot having after so long is to have a friend who could literally read melike a book front to back, back to front.

Enter my slightly cuckoo, twin friend of mine.

I’ve known Nuddin for 11 years. We grew up being damn close friends because to a certain extend, we do think quite similarly. The one fella I could spend talking on the phone for what? 6 hours was it? One of those record back in the day.

Anyway, so as we grew up, we keep in touch where possible – he still loves giving surprise visits and I’ve been invited to go to Melbourne since forever by so many people. The moment I paid for my Sydney trip, I convinced Syiks to fly down with me to Melbourne as well to see my twin from different mother and father.

Having families all over Australia, Syiks made her plans with her cousins in Melbourne when we arrived. So when I touched down, Nuddin texted me several things and places to do while waiting for him to finish his work. Spent 3 hours at the Hollywood Costume exhibition at ACMI. Didn’t realised how involved Aussies are in the Hollywood scene until then.

Again, I have no idea what to do in Melbourne (not because there’s nothing to do), I just left that job to Nuddin suggesting me whatever works. Knowing him knowing me so well, I trust he has a few of things lining up for me.

The weird part was, I just saw him sometime in January when he came back for a short holiday and to see him in his turf was as if I’ve not seen him for a long time.

He brought me to The Grill’d because we were starving and loved the whole concept of this joint. There’s a solid idea, brought with love through food and then give back to the people again. Things Malaysians wish to do but somehow isn’t like that when it happens.

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It was such a good catch up session for three days. I forgot what it’s like having a friend like him. We could talk about everything and know that there’s no judgement for who we are. The fact that we know each other so well just made it so much easy to fall back into comfort. Finishing each other thoughts and such, dude – you’re like one of a kind in my list of friends. Yes,I just realised that and if he ever reads this, he’ll have the biggest grin on his face I’m sure.

It’s that easiness that I had forgotten. Just be.

Fact that he was so excited to show me his city reminds me of what I do for my job. The thing with him is that, don’t bother asking if he doesn’t wanna tell what he wants to show you when he said “You’ll see”. It’s that joy of sharing part I find most fun about.

And knowing him, when he says “You’ll love it”..I know for a fact it’s true.

We zig-zagged in an old arcade by Flinder’s Street up to the 8th floor and there lies the best view of Federal Square.

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Then, he introduced me to his friend he happened to know when he was exploring this very old building. Stephan Mclaughlan, the gallery owner was quite the man we got to talk to. Never in my days would I see myself listening and talking about Alfred Hitchcock. Stephan’s a big fan and yet another passionate, straight to point man. We even talked about James Bond because he saw the package Nuddin helped carried for me.

We also got to know how the networking works in Melbourne for an artist to be successful. Who he chooses to display and how to tell if it were to be a good show.

I wanted to record every moment of my stay in Australia in tape so I can watch it again but alas, all I could do is depend on my photos, photographic memories and writings so that I won’t forget this feeling.

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I was also delighted to get Yoga and Nuddin meet up for the first time while I was there. Very grateful to have all my friends freeing their days for me. The best thing about this trip is that, all of us got to do something we’ve never done before. Yoga told me about igersmelbourne‘s photowalk happening the day after and I made sure Syiks and Nuddin were to join us. IgersMelbourne stands for instagram melbourne. None of us except Yoga had done this before and it really inspired me to do things better with my work. This photowalk is kinda like an extension to what #TSDayOut is all about, which is awesome – I get to enjoy what others plan with one objective in mind, which is to explore.

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While Sydney was more relaxing for me, Melbourne was go go go because there’s so many things my friends wanted to bring me to. It was a nice balance, a need and away from the reality for at least a little while.

I’m also very lucky to have Nuddin’s girlfriend to not murder me for spending time with him 3 whole days straight. As I’ve been accustomed to the past, I don’t exactly have the best records with my best guyfriends’ girlfriends. But yeah, I’m so thankful this is not the case at all. Thank you for that Kamilah.

I think I know what this is about. This mind had wanted to shout to the world.

I finally am able to be happy with where I am at, enjoy being me and having people around me who allows me to do so without telling me.

I can’t undo the memories of the past but I can make better ones today.

Will I ever return for another trip to Down Under? That’s for another post to reveal what I’ve got plans for.

This might not be your cup of tea, this post I mean. But that’s why I write, why Danywhere exists. It’s the wanderlust theories I come across that makes me want to write. To get it out of my chest. Who reads it does not matter to me but I do appreciate if you happen to finish reading till the end.

Aussie doings will be elaborated further now that I got this out! Phewh. What a rut I got myself into.

However, during my flight to Sydney I manage to write this without having any preconceived ideas about what my trip would me to me.

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Battle Victory

Finally, it feels like it,
Like these demons are taken down,
The warriors are crying for victory.
Is this what it feels like,
When the endless battle is ending?

Oh that closet filled with darkness
Is released from evil tricks and mind.
Reborn with renewed faith,
Today, a new day has begun
For a dwarf finally gets her fun.

It feels strange, alien somewhat;
Where blurred line becomes clearer,
Horizon looking better,
Happier in fact.
Well, here’s to a new adventure.

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The Obscura Point of View: Penang Day 1

This is fate. The Maker’s way of saying;

I’m suppose to do this the way it is right now. On my own.

6 days after coming back from Sydney, I’m packed up and headed for Penang for 5 days. I only ever go back to Penang for Eid Fitr celebration because it’s my mum’s hometown. That or that one time when I stayed in Penang for a class trip back in college.

This is a whole different thing.

I’m rediscovering Penang  from a whole different point of view. I call it The Obscura Point of View.

Obscura Photography Festival

Initially I plan to go for Obscura Photography Festival on my own for Che Mat’s Workshop then it became a team plan until 2 days before I came back only to know that some people weren’t happy about the plan. Then I’m back to square one.

Considering I’ve paid for the workshop and my flight, I might as well just go anyway even if this would be my first solo trip in Malaysia. I mean c’mon, it’s Penang for god sake. It’s generally a lot better than Kuala Lumpur; what with the haze and all.

So, Penang is a go no matter what. It’s easier to go according to your own plan rather than depend on others anyways. Except that as days go by, I get to know more people who are interested to go for the trip. Each one arriving on different days. Whaddya know? I got a bunch of like-minded folks for a super cool event again.

It was slightly weird. I think to be in a familiar place you’ve been countless of times but this time for a different reason. Touched down at Penang International Airport was odd – the last time I flew here was in Dec ’09 to see my late grandma. Even then it was a 12 hours thing. So being here again sorta kinda made me reclaim all these memories for better hopefully.

Instead of heading to Green Lane or Gurney Drive as I would have usually with my parents,

“Chulia Street please” I told the taxi driver.

Very odd feeling, a good one I’m sure. Unsure most of the time but good nonetheless. And being the typical me, I’ll grab by the bull’s horns when I’m on this path anyway.

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Had it not been for Obscura, I wouldn’t have known about Syok at Chulia Street. This place surpassed my expectation. Even Dorsett Penang can’t win this one. Honestly, I think it’s like staying with a big family. Everyone’s so warm and inviting for a chat, always available for a chat actually. Even my roommates are really cool too. I was told, a lot of the Obscurians are also staying here. We’ll see who I’ll bump into tomorrow morning.

The bed’s really comfy, all you need are here – with a good eye aesthetically too. Kudos Karen and her team! Heck, they’ll even lend you their umbrella too 🙂 Bicycles are available for rent as well.

For a moment, I had to remind myself that I’m only in Penang, not another country. Constantly reminding myself that there’s no timezone difference. Brain’s still going cuckoo I guess but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I don’t feel like I’m in Malaysia at all. Pedestrians are able to walk a lot better here and I’ve been making friends with random people in an instant. It just has such a good vibe this state, how far ahead they’ve come now – truly, ultimately I can feel a great community is nurturing it’s power together.

I didn’t realised that Syok at Chulia Street is situated right smack in good food area. Only 3 minutes away and I’m back at my family’s favourite food joint for Nasi Kandar – Hameediyah at Campbell Street. Eating alone is really no big deal, in fact it’s the only time I can check on updates actually.

Hameediyah

Then upon reading my email, I got to know that Che Mat’s students are required to register on site later in the evening at China House. It was only 4pm at that time. Slowly taking my time walking in the rain (thank you God!), I head back to Syok to grab Obscura’s map. Wasn’t sure how far China House was but I’m sure I can just walk to the other end.

When I asked one of Syok’s staffs about the direction, two guys who were chilling at the common area overhead my conversation and spoke out aloud saying that they too are heading the same place to check out Filmmakers Anonymous show and other exhibitions in China House. Hey hey!

China House

It’s then that I got to know Adli and Kadir who runs their own creative space near where I live. Along the way Kadir found this particular shop that fits for his photoshoot or something like that in one of the lanes we walked.

When we arrived at China House, the show was already running and we dispersed. People actually offer you seats and make space for you. All this little gestures are so rare in KL that I’m easily amused by it.

At first, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb looking like a lost lamb and dressed up so..normal. Everyone looked like they below in this festival while here comes a kid who .. came with an open mind to learn. The movies were..interesting. There were one or two I really liked. Ramadan (Umar Muhajir) and Bajet (Zam Nayan).

See here’s the thing about shorties, often I come across either dark genre or emo. And it has become such a stereotype that it had me going “What else is there?” so when I watched Ramadan and Bajet which both are from different genre – one’s more self discovery and adversity while the other is about the quirky side to everyday life – it made me pay attention to the storytelling and craft. Both of which were executed well. There’s a certain depth and natural aspect to it, which I find more appealing.

Obscura Photo book

When the show ended, both Adli and Kadir nonchalantly introduced me to other Obscurians who then I got to know that our circle of friends are quite small. I also got to know that I have two more look-a-likes. People from all over the world are here for this, you’d be missing a lot of greatness if you decide to skip it.

Managed to even check out the Handmade Photobook Workshop by Yumi and Nozomi. which wrapped up today. I really wanted to join this one but oh well. The results of other people’s photobooks were really cool. Each one presented their book and told us their thought process, journey and ideas about it. Loved it even more on how they have to search their materials in Penang. So it’s just not about making the photobook by hand, it’s the journey and exploration. I’m such a sucker for that. Even the photographers who are here to exhibit participated too. It’s just such a shift, there’s no status, hierarchy of any type. Everyone’s like everybody..just with passion.

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Then, Gianni Frinzi (an award winning publisher) had an impromptu talk about the books he published and won. It was suppose to be about showing his books but eventually with the Q&A session, it turned out as a proper talk about publishing books (mass or niche etc). Truly, in just a matter of hours, Obscura has managed to inject all sorts of awesomeness from every angle – it need not have to be strictly Photography but indirectly, it links back. Gianni spoke about how Amazon has changed the game with distributors and why self-publishing is more important now than ever.

One thing I realised during Gianni’s session is that in order to stay alive (literally and metaphorically) – a person has to have a few cards on the sleeve. Being a jack of all trades is really what’s gonna keep you awake and sated. It’s always finding ways to get something done, expand your mind and make the most of what you have. Not so much about making it big (I’m sure to a certain point it does) but it has a lot to do with striving for the best while keeping it balance because in the end it’s about communicating with your client and knowing what your audience wants. People tend to find commercialism to be..well over compromised but I don’t think that was the case with Gianni. You need a certain standard to achieve greatness and that standard is there for a reason. So strive it. Break it if need and don’t forget to have fun while doing it.

Gianni Frinzi Obscura

It’s those little pieces you know? Doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll change the world but with enough little things to make a difference, eventually it’ll give a big impact.

Work hard, hard work.

It is what it is. No short cuts. Just you and fun doing what you wanna do.

I’m so freaking grateful that Vig brainwashed me to go for his massive festival. No amount of words can describe it.

You know..you’re still not late to join the fun – Obscura goes on till Sunday June 30. So come!

Tomorrow, my Obscura fever begins..one I’m quite terrified to be honest. Why? I hear so many people say the same thing about my instructor – strict. Jeng jeng jeng..

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Umm..all photos above were taken with the iPhone. Sorry.

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Travel Reminder: That Skin of Ours

Travel Reminder: That Skin of Ours

This coming from that girl who once upon a time never bothered to care for her skin amd grew up after last year’s trip.

It’s not that I’m not bothered..I just felt like it’s cumbersome to carry so many things and do it all the time.

So after 1.5 weeks trotting around Europe last year, I realised I had red streaks across my cheeks. Make that a few streaks.

Thinking I prolly overdid on my Posie Tint blusher, I opted without it after that until I met a Beauty Assistant who stopped me at Westfield. See, I choose to not care as much about my face but I’m a big fan when it comes to body shower and lotion. Then he pointed out my red streaks and explained how it happened. In medical term, it’s called Telangiectasia Rosacea.

Those red streaks were a result of broken capillaries, which is what happened when exposed under the sun or in extreme weather without proper skincare to protect the skin. Which also constitute to me having very dry skin on my legs in the process.

I think that was the point, the point when I realised I could do something about it or walk away and continue being ignorant about my body.

That’s when I knew the need to exfoliate and moisturise.

The Beauty Assistance was from Ukraine and spoke pretty good Malay (I guess there must be a lot of Malaysians around that area) which got us to talk a lot more after that 🙂

One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my recent travel (and there were many life changing ones) is the importance of having good skin. Before, I may think it takes too much effort to keep up but it’s a whole lot more inconvenient when your skin acts up when you’re away. It’s great if you don’t feel any pain but if and when it does get worst, by then it’ll be almost too late to get it back to normal. You could but it won’t be as flawless as before or at least not anytime soon.

I was lucky to be in a continent that produces a whole lot of skin products in the world so it was relatively easy for me to find what I needed. Plus, I got it cured before it got worst.

What if you’re in a place that isn’t? Then what?

These are my essentials for my Australia trip in 2 days time. Had a lot of thought about these..not because I want to have the most flawless skin any human can have but because I remember 18 years ago when I was in Australia, the weather was so dry and considering the ozone layer is thinnest down under, skin get exposed to UV even more.

That was 18 years ago when I came back with sunburn and such. Today it might be just as intense or slightly more.

Like our body, our skin too needs to be constantly hydrated. Water plays a big role so does the food we take.

And it’s so important to listen to your body, inside and out. Because I know my skin is (hyper) sensitive and dry, (unfortunately) only selected products are acceptable for my skin.

Before I go scatter around looking for a cure, these are my happiness – SKII Facial Treatment Milk, Obey Your Body Facial Scrub, Closet Mixologist Cleansing Oil (made of apricot kernel and lavender oil), L’ocittane Shea Butter Lip Balm, Shiseido Perfect UV Protector SPF50 & Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Creme (hand and feet).

Indeed, my collection of skincare and makeup has grown tenfolds since Europe. Maybe because I’ve grown up, grown to understand why I need to take care and listen to my body. I’m girly-fied! *gasp*

Oh well..

In a way, I prefer to roam around without worrying that I’ll be in pain.

Do remember to at least have your sunscreen with you when you go out. At the very least.

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To Fall in My Sleep: Personal Thoughts

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

The world constantly moves faster than you last remember, it’s as if time is high on ecstasy and yet here we are ever ready trying to catch up.

The trick to actually catching up with the world and life is that you should take a breather. Know when to do so, where to do it and who to do it with and for some unknown reason you’ll know you’ve got it all figured it out.

Maybe that’s why I love taking a drive in the early morning (it used to be late night too but it’s becoming quite dangerous as we move forward). At times, taking it with someone else but it’s always about the drive. About the sensation of just moving, going anywhere the road may take us.

Sunset in Kuala Lumpur

A lot of the times I think of myself as a loner of some sort or at the very least socially inept person. Then I read this post from facebook and it all just made so much more sense about myself, answers almost every freaking thing I’ve been wondering about myself.

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I tend to worry about how others would react knowing that I do like my space and I don’t mind people not coming to me, making themselves more awkward trying to make it less awkward by talking to me. It’s ok, that if you don’t feel like talking and I don’t want to talk.

Maybe it’s the experiences I’ve got myself into in the past that made me this way. I used to be this person who makes sure everyone is ok. Everyone I know feels comfortable. In some twisted kinda way, I want to be liked so much, I put myself out there for them only to get a few burns in return.

I went into recovery mode, reanalyse myself and see what was the core issue considering the web I’ve spun and got stuck in. Slowly, I discover doing things on my own gives me a certain kind of fulfillment that I’ve never felt before. Then eventually, that needing everyone to like me feeling disappears.

Learning to make your own energy is important, it’s kinda like a survivor’s number one must have swiss army. When the going do get tough, that’s when you’ll have to dig deep..at times deeper in fact and then magic happens. Perhaps, this thing I’ve been building up might not bode well with many but those who do – I’ll go to the end of the world if you need me to. That’s just who I am and that’s also kinda my weakness I try to shield away.

This week has been a week of reawakening about the shortcomings I have in me that I need to work on more. Things that are not impossible to overcome and achieve, things that if I overlook will be the death of me. So, while it’s been a bittersweet week, a heartbreaking one at one point; I got out of the funk in 10 minutes after brooding. Back on track, back to making things happen. I’m thankful for these shortcoming I have, more than ever, it’s becoming my compass right now. Adjusting to the wind and heart.

So maybe there will be a new adventure coming in the next couple of months. But for just this short frame of time, I’m going to take a break from life in reality and go away for a bit. 6 days to go before I get to go Sydney after 17 years since my last visit.

Life is life. Not taking it seriously can be a waste but taking it too seriously can also be a jeopardy. Find your balance, find where you heart sings and dance. That’s the place you’ll know you should have your feet stay grounded.