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Showing posts from April, 2015

South Africa: Where I Could Live

BEFORE we left for Africa, we were bombarded with crime alerts from concerned friends and family. In fact, safety was the only thing that got mentioned when we announced our dream holiday plans to them. By the time we left, we were quite bothered by all those alerts. And then, we landed in Johannesburg. 

We took a cab and went out that very night when I realised what I was doing: I was looking at every person on the street and judging them indiscriminately. And I was very ashamed of myself for that. That night, I changed my tarnished mindset about the whole safety issue. Would I go out alone on foot or even in a car to some places in my own country? No! Why, I don't even have the peace of mind to walk in some areas during the day in Bangsar (Kuala Lumpur)! Crime risks are anywhere and everywhere, we just have to be street smart. I could have been pick-pocketed in Paris or robbed at gunpoint in New York too. When I was able to release that mindset, I saw the people in a new, differe…

South Africa: Where Dreams Come True

OF all my travels, I had the best one last week in South Africa. Africa is officially my favourite continent in the world and I vow to travel parts of it in the years to come. Our trip began with a brief stay at Johannesberg for the night before we were whisked off to Northeast where we stayed three, wonderful nights at a game lodge. It has always been my dream to experience an African safari so the main agenda of this trip was the Kruger National Park. 

What can I say. It has been the most interesting few days of my life among the lives I've only used to read about, watch in documentaries and imagine in my head. Over the days, I've had a frog half the size of my pinky jump out of my hair, suffered various insect bites on my face, avoided bee stings (although I've been stung half a dozen times before), walked about after dark to my room so fearful thinking that I may be in the way of the hippos in the lake outside my room and watched a man shiver right next to me due to a s…

Grey Weather

IT'S like a scene from a horror movie outside. The weather department did warn us of the storm but at this intensity, it's something I've never experienced before. At 65kmph, the wind is howling angry. The air is thick with dust that I can't see my neighbour's house. I could taste sand particles in my mouth and nose when I was at the balcony earlier. Why, I'm on the sofa now and still get a strange smell in the air. 

Times like this, I really don't mind a thunderstorm instead. Visibility is off, the roads are equally messed up, it's not safe to be out and there're flood possibilities. But at least, during and after a thunderstorm, the air is clean and everything looks new and hopeful again. I walked into the bathroom and ran my finger along the bathtub. There is already a layer of dust. The hub had just washed it earlier. I could see a coat of grey matter on the brown TV cabinet from where I am now. This is just in the city, inside of an almost sound…


And it's April. 

In four days, my mom turns 59. We celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary on the 5th and on the next day, the husband inches closer to 40. At this phase in life, time is something I have plenty of yet I'm losing it at a pace I cannot justify.  

Today, I'm missing my mom and dad pretty bad. I don't think I've spent much time being with them even when I was with them. There was always school or they were working. But we lived together, ate dinner at the table every day and spent Sunday evenings as a family. I measured time by school year and every year seemed like a lot of time then. It felt like I owned forever. It felt like the dame old tree was old while I bounced in eternal youth. It felt like I was going to school my whole life and eating dinner together at home. 

But the years never missed a minute and still caught up with me: it was time to leave home. My parents wished me well and sent me off with pride. I wasn't living with them but I was les…