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Saving the World Business Love Affair

One of my favourite discoveries in Yorkshire

One of my favourite discoveries in Yorkshire

Eye rolls, grins and that typical look I get whenever someone ask me about what I intend to do.

I have to admit, whatever I end up saying or plan to do will most likely sound like I’m trying to save the world. So I get why I get those looks from people most of the time. I really do.

Because, if I was them, I’d do the same too.

I don’t know what is it with me and the idea of doing something that resonates with this superhero complexity I have. Maybe, a part of me wants to undo the past, of what I didn’t have the power or wisdom to do anything then but today, given the knowledge and experience, perhaps I can right the wrong somehow. Give other people the opportunity to live in better state of mind.

I have roughly 9 days before my adventure with Hyper Island in Manchester comes to an end. Yesterday marked our sixth month residency in this city that I’ve come to find comfort in and I realised that being in HI has elevated my determination to do whatever I want because they allow us to do what we want. Therein lies a crux for some of us, well more for me really. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, what is it about HI that made me be the way I am today? How is it different from the rest? Am I looking at the rose-tinted glasses that I’m potentially setting myself for some kind of down fall once the bubble burst?

To be honest, I don’t know.

It could be a long love affair with my life of fighting against the current since the day I was born. There is always something I had to pull out of the hat to prove that I’m here, alive and relevant. It was also part of the 10 year love affair with the black hole I spent spiralling through my growing up years.

So yes, being in Hyper Island wiped off all that history of breaking walls and burning bridges with society back home. I may be one of the weirdest alien in Malaysia but over here, HI forces us to go deeper and embrace our differences. That, my weirdness is not weird enough to be called weird.

Wait, does that even make sense?

Essentially, that freedom to explore all corners of my interests, fascinations and weirdness have made me felt like I’m normal. So normal, I need to kick myself to push harder. I don’t know where Be Autistic, my industry research project will be taking me to..because I’m setting myself so freaking high, I’m hanging onto anything at this point.

I wonder if one day I’ll wake up feeling “Yes, I’ve conquered my confidence!” and be done with all the insecurities. Then, I remember, confidence is a work in progress, it’s not something we can overcome once and for all and move on from there. There’s always something to shake it up, to make things even.

For now though, I’m done feeling inferior with myself. I’m ending this turmoil about feeling like I’m so different that I’m never gonna figure this life out because.. as Tash once told me at a party we were at (not sure if she even remembered), I’m not that different as I thought.

Seriously, coming here really opened my eyes about myself. I may have been fighting an endless battle all my life because back home, whoever I’m suppose to be is not yet an “accepted” concept but over here, you have to fight harder to stay true to who you are.

Fuh, that’s a lot of battles but without them, I don’t think living is worth it at all. We just have to pick the right battles that will enrich our mind and soul. If anything, it should empower us to do things differently (in a good way, of course). And if it doesn’t, there’s always tomorrow to change that.

I’m not looking forward to moving out of my apartment in Manchester. Not even sure if I’m ready to leave Manchester yet. I hope somebody from some company will see a potential to bring me in somewhere. This adventure is only the beginning, I have so much more to learn! Argh! The agony.

And strangely, while walking back to my place earlier, I don’t have that “homesick” feeling for as long as I’ve been here. I don’t know why (there’s so many don’t knows in this post, it’s driving my mad). I know I’ve always felt more home away from home. Over here, I just feel like I’m free from my inhabits that I am able to just be me. That and I have so many amazing people all over the continent, they make me feel like part of this giant extended family network too.

I just don’t want to see this end without a proper conclusion. At least not anytime soon.

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Back Against The Wall

Under Construction

At this point in time,
the road is unseen,
unwritten and unimagined;
Yet here I am standing,
heart and soul exposed
with everything to lose.

I want to answer,
I want to say,
Most definitely to scream
“It will be okay”
but I never convey
Never reach for that day.

Honestly, I am too afraid
Don’t know what to do
With this grenade,
ticking away minute after minute
“Just throw it to me”,
whispered a voice I never foresee.

How can this be?
So far from any possibility.
I see that charming smile,
the one that’s capable
of undoing everything
I try very hard protecting.

It’s always gonna be like this,
One moment I think I’m done
And then I’m hitting home run.
Someone tell me what’s going on,
‘Cuz at this rate, I’m so far gone
I don’t know what I should hold on.

“What about the adventure you speak of?”
Oh, how I long for those days my love!
He took my hands and shove all insecurities,
Writing our story with so much purity
“I’ve always been here, only a lot less gutsy”
“Welcome home”, I hand out his old key.

 

I wrote Under Construction a month ago but had pushed it aside because I didn’t think it had any place here, or in my point of view, I don’t know how it could fit in this little world.

I don’t know any other way to write but to tell it from the way I feel deep down. I think because I felt that my back is against the wall more times than I like it to be, whether on my own doing or otherwise..it’s been a struggle to push back.

So I stay put for a bit. Praying for the calmness to arrive after chaos.

To be frank, I don’t know how to move forward from here. Maybe once I get this phase over and done with, I’ll get that release I’ve been longing for. Excuse my incapability in writing something important right now. There’s a time when the need needs to be met before crossing over to the greener pasture. This is that.

When I face a wall, poetry and art manage to depict my emotions. There is no better way to describe the feelings I’ve been going through than Pablo Suarez’s Exclusion masterpiece which was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Pablo Suarez Exclusion Argentina

 

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A Stubborn Malaysian Wanted

I did this for an entirely different reason and part of me still wants to keep it hidden, unknown and well as private as the online world allows me to be. But alas, as with many things I do, this is one I wouldn’t mind being laughed at or made fun of.

Took me six hours to do a 40 seconds video for my application to Hyper Island which I honestly have no idea what the outcome would look like (all I did was arranging photos and videos I wanted and the rest just naturally took shape on it’s own).

I think in a lot of ways, it’s a nice recap of my entire 28 years into one. Of what I tried so hard to understand, adapt, run and submit but in that process of self discovery and what not, I went into all kinds of emotions – anger, disappointment, joy, sad. You can name any of it and it’s most certainly part of the journey somewhere.

Then there’s that feeling where I’ve made peace with the universe, myself and Him.

When all of these elements are aligned together, you get this sense of belonging without having the need to belong to anywhere. You just are. And so this is me.

I’ve adopted a new philosophy a few months back, one I’m only certain that I’m ready to commit when the time calls for it. If I have to go anywhere, anytime to help a country, a place, a nation or a community, I would pick Malaysia. I know it’s fcked up. That’s all the more reason why I choose Malaysia.

Weird? I think so too.

There’s this epidemic going on here, more so now than before – it’s called brain drain. It’s when all the good brains choose to move out and away from Malaysia and do superb things elsewhere. I understand why they do it, not so much because that’s what they want to do. It’s more about what they need to do and that’s to feed their soul to be better. So of course, it’s no brainer to not accept an offer other people are giving everywhere but Malaysia. Because really, why not?

But then, what will become of Malaysia when all the good people move away?

“So what? Tried and nothing happened”. “It’s not like I didn’t do my part, Malaysia is just not ready.”

True. Although, it’s not Malaysia that’s not ready or does not want to embrace it’s awesomeness, it’s the parasites that’s been occupying her heart. Disabling her to be the potential everyone has been talking about for ions. If anything, she’s pretty much screaming her lung out – my take on landslides, floods and haze.

It is kinda scary to think about it if you have to leave this country to incapable hands. When that happens (or has been happening), it becomes a responsibility for each and everyone to help this country to get rid of the nonsense that has been infesting for donkey years. It is sad to know that so many choose to ignore or be blasé about the future. Seriously, it’s as much as your future as it is mine yet all you think about is only the here and now. Not tomorrow or next month. Just right now.

I know, it takes too much effort. Too much emotions and time to do it. But if you’re not gonna right the wrong for yourself, no one else should be doing it for you.

Understandably, I wouldn’t want to live here anymore, don’t want to waste any more of my brain cells to help yet in the past 3 years, I’ve got to know so many people who make a difference and are constantly finding ways to do so because it’s what they love to do. It’s inbred in them. They feed upon the idea of being able to do something good. That alone shows the kind of spirit you’ll need to have when you live in Malaysia.

You need to have thick skin when facing rejections, cold heart when so many atrocities are thrown at you and be as stubborn as a mule to get your vision across. From what I’ve experienced and seen, people will bring you down until you break and if you have a strong will, you will rise far better than anyone will ever expect you to be.

So that’s Malaysia in a nutshell for those who wants to make a difference. It’s not a joke, those who champion campaigns for the betterment of Malaysia are heroes in their own rights. Even if they did shatter, they’ll comeback even more motivated and determined.

No one likes drastic changes, but it’s only drastic when you leave it to desperate hour.

Am I ready for that kind of thing? I’ll go with the flow.

In the meantime, I hope more people will fight to do the good stuff in Malaysia because God knows, we freaking need it!

And I am truly grateful to be surrounded by incredible spirits to help me be a fraction of who they become.

Switzerland

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

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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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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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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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Sunrise in Bagan Lalang

Sunrise in Bagan Lalang

Heart Life

Paint the clouds,
the trees and your life
for this story is about
how you do it, dream it
and most certainly live it.

Your strength is in Him
that belief, that hope
it all comes from Him
so carry faith,
carry it all the way.

Have heart, lots to start
As wisdom will impart
when you make mistakes
So take heart,
Life is a work of art.

It was one of those rare moments when I’m able to wake up early for sunrise. To be honest, I wasn’t able to sleep the whole night.

And it’s nice to see such relationship exists in front of my eyes. That beautiful moment between a parent and child.

Hopefully as we move forward with technology, we bring along the human aspect in our lives.