In Absentia

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Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com

Getting back to writing is not something on my new year resolutions list. But it has been on my mind for a while. With the completion of my recent study, and the beginning of the long-over-due home renovation project, I finally ran out of excuses for further procrastination.

The last post on this site was in September 2014… four and half years ago… It felt like an ancient time… when iPhone 6 was just released, when Ebola Virus was seeming unbeatable.. and George Clooney was just married to gorgeous Amal Alamuddin.

In the past four and half years, I traveled half the world, moved on from a relationship, shifted career path, and worked my way hard to get another degree. Lots stories I could have shared, zero had I done, as if nothing happened in my life.

Laziness – that’s what happened.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last fifty odd months, it’s that the first blow is indeed half the battle. Although it guarantees nothing more than a slight chance of winning, it grants hope – at least there’s hope.

They always say life takes away edges, the longer you live, the mellower you are. I used to think it was just resignation to time. The truth is, after a while, through either first-hand or second-hand experiences, you realize all the “cliché” life advice you heard were indeed true, and you are no exception, eventually you would make peace with yourself (or life), that’s when calmness replaces rage, objectivity prevails over whinges.

Here I am, accepting the fact that I am undeniably ordinary – no traces would be left if I don’t make them myself. No development would be made if I don’t make effort myself. Time fleets, regardless. I have two options – making the blow, or take the blow.

Thus, here I am, making the first blow, for a comeback.

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A Book List

A friend of mine nominated me on facebook, I must admit I was relieved to realize the nomination is actually about books… But to me it’s probably as challenging as the other one involves water and ice. So many books have taken me to amazing places, met fascinating people, experienced their times, I shed tears for their joy and pain, I imagined myself lived their lives… Sorry if it sounds melodramatic, when it comes to books, I just can’t help it.

My all-time favourite of English books would be (in no particular order):

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (all 4 books, the whole series) – I absolutely adore Hannibal Lecter.

–  To Kill a Mocking Bird by Lee Harper – I would marry Atticus Finch anytime, I would choose him 100 times even if both Atticus and Brad Pete asked me at the same time…

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome – Uncle Podger cracks me up every single time when I’m frustrated at work, for that reason I would recommend it to all my colleagues. .

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer – an absolute masterpiece of plotting…

Jane Erye

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Then in the last few years, I enjoyed very much reading the following:

Pillars of the Earth, and World without End, both by Ken Follet

A 100-year Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window by Jonas Jonasson

The Book Thief by Makus Zusak

Water for Elephant by Sara Greun (the movie was an utmost disappointment)

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Kite Runner

Curious Incidents of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

A Whole New World by Daniel H Pink

This summer I picked up a book called ‘The Shortest History of Europe’ by John Hirst. Not my usual subjects but the author made it such an easy yet informative read I would like to recommend to you all.

Now I’ve done my bit, I’m interested in what your list would be.  

Have a nice weekend!

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

I have always been wanting to write about Macau, but I had started few times, deleted few times, and nothing I have produced so far. Thank to this week’s photo challenge, I can finally show you a glimpse of Macau that I love.

You would have seen this before – the Ruins of St Paul’s, it’s on every tourism poster of Macau, it is synonymous with Macau.

In the heart of the old city of Macau stands the great carved stone facade of St. Paul’s, which, with the grand staircase, are all that remain of the first church and colleague of the Jesuits in China. Designed by an Italian Jesuits, with the assistance of Japanese Christian stonemasons, who had fled persecution in Japan, the church was built in the early 17th century. In 1835 a fire destroyed all but the facade, which illustrates the history of Christinanity in Asia and incorporates Bilicial quotations in Chinese and Japanese chrysanthemums as well bronze statues of the missionary saints.

Each day thousands of tourists from all over the world visit this “miracle” survived not only the disastrous fire but the lapse of time as well. I am not quite when this romantic statue was installed in front of the St Paul’s, but I thought it does add a bit of love and romance to this monument of the City’s rich heritage and bright future.

p.s.: Lotus is the flower of Macau

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Weekly Photo Challenge: selfie

I’m camera shy. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than posing in front of a camera. This is probably the best I could do for a selfie – the shadow casted on a sand dune, a tiny being in this vast world, leaving a forgettable trace while passing through… I took this photo when I visited Dunhuang in northwest China 3 weeks ago, traveling solo as usual.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Community

This is a rather late entry, however I’m glad I still have the opportunity to share with you what have caught my eye, and mind.

Recently I visited Singapore Biennale – If the World Changed. Among many inspiring exhibits, I found this one suits the theme of the week the best.

The title of the exhibit is ‘Waiting Room’. I am going to quote the visit guide: “Waiting Room echoes the many episodes of ‘waiting’ faced by transgender persons, such as waiting for a family’s acceptance, for the legalization of official personal documents, and for confirmation of and acceptance into regular employment. The installation is constructed to mimic a typical clinic, presenting an all-too-familiar journey in the lives if transgender persons as they undergo various phases of constructive surgery, before what is considered the defining procedure: gender reassignment surgery. The chairs, pamphlets and posters are imprinted with drawings and messages, appealing for public openness and understanding while sharing the complexities of the situations faced by the community.”

Thank you Shieko Reto.

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Weekly photo challenge: Unexpected

On a whim I went to Jordan early last year, until today I wish I stayed longer. With no doubt Petra was absolute the highlight of the trip, for 3 days I was in the ancient city from dawn to dusk, wandered among temples and shrines, and lost in history and heritage. I can’t remember where exactly I found this little figuring of roman solider, standing between rocks, quietly. I was not sure how long he had been there, and I am not sure if he is still there. If you are visiting Petra in the near future, maybe you will meet him too at a turn of stairs.

Have a good week ahead.

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Daily prompt: TREAT

My colleague did me a huge favor, I asked what I could do to return the
favor, she replied – ‘hairy crabs’.

It’s the hairy crab season, late autumn in lunar calendar, foodies would travel from afar to Yangcheng Lake for the famous hairy crab. Despite its scary look the crab meat underneath that hard shell more than tender and delicious.

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