Have you ever fallen in love at first sight and not been able to confess for a long long time
I’m a hopeless romantic & a sucker for love stories.
Give me a love story, I’ll read it from start to finish.
The songs I've been using in this and the last photo come from the OST of a RomCom based on a love story I finished reading on Monday in 1 day.
It’s a story where the two protagonists try to hide their love for each other for the longest time
The choice of the actor and actress are so cunning & apt that they seem like they walked straight outta the book pages.
Especially the lead actor, I’m often so impressed by how he carried himself literally exactly as the character was described in the book:
Especially in the latest episodes, the new “铁树开花版 段嘉许”
On Weibo, for the last few days,
there are quite a few Hot Search hashtags about this character,
where people described this period of the story as #段嘉许孔雀开屏 #男狐狸精本人
I love this current dynamic between 桑稚 & 段嘉许, before & while he 摊牌.
In the book it was sweet to read but they are after all just black & white words on book pages.
in live action, the actors delivered the birthday scene so well,
even I felt the hard-to-Breathe TENSION that the characters were experiencing.
Moments get stretched, camera is on close-up, cutting between the 2 protagonists,
music is in the background building the atmosphere,
you can see the actors’ facial expressions and body language.
In my opinion, the tension in the 曖昧 period is the Best part of a relationship.
It’s like arriving in a new country, learning the ways of the city, navigating it, discovering all the possibilities.
I’ve read many books that have been adapted into live-action in the last few years.
All of them are love stories, of course~.
Many of them have characters that have hidden love for their counterparts.
But This one is the sweetest and the lightest in mood and weight.
I love the timeless bond the writer set up between 桑稚 & 段嘉许,
I especially appreciate the unconditional care and attentiveness they have for each other.
When he asked her, what are the requirements you have for someone you would like to be pursued by?
He asked these questions as a way to probe her interest on him, which he already discovered.
But really, these are requirements that every one should have a standard on for everyone else in their life:
Partner, friends, coworkers, classmates, roommates.
Who would you allow to continue to exist in your life?
Do you have a standard and a reasonable expectation of others, for your own self-care?
I feel many people do not necessarily have that rule of thumb about people,
because they may not have a standard for themselves, even.
For me, I love looking out for my friends where I can,
so the qualities I need in friends and neighbors and coworker-become-friends etc are along similar lines,
If I don’t receive the same kind of attentiveness or attention from someone,
then I would not reach out and give them any more attention, period.
If someone doesn’t make contact with me,
then I won’t make contact with them either.
Because life is all about give-and-take, and a decent amount of self-love.
These are the questions I ask for myself / for my friends when it comes to any kind of people-evaluation in life:
I really feel that everyone should evaluate themselves and others this way.
I know none of us are perfect,
and there are many days where we simply are not well enough to spare the mindspace to look after someone.
But I feel we also shouldn’t give too much if the other party simply does not demonstrate that they reciprocate in equal measure.
I worry that my friends may sacrifice their own peace for someone who isn’t worth it.
I hope all my friends are well cared for in their lives by others,
and that they have people that would look after them and look out for them the way 段嘉许 & 桑稚 would look after each other.
Theirs should be the basic standard.
Every now and then, and very often,
I find myself battling in pain
caused by people in my life who make me feel I will Never be Good Enough.
And I know
because of how they are
I can never shake it off.
With them, I will never be good enough
In society, you're Never Enough.
Whether it's in the modern developed world,
or in the traditional conservative communities.
You can never be enough.
No matter how hard you try,
no matter how much effort you put in
to become a better version of yourself,
you will never be good enough.
It's a bottomless pit - you can never satisfy others.
This is how I know I can never fit in nor want to fit in to standard society,
or to be around very uninteresting, vain, common people.
it'd be the fact that I'm not a qualified social worker at work,
as if because I'm not a qualified social worker, therefore I'm an useless idiot that needs everything proofread by someone and signed out and never to be trusted or promoted.
They'd never hear me when I have stated to them clearly that it sickened me to have to do the old intensive mentally draining job again when I have already moved into a different role,
yet they repeatedly ask me to help out once and once again - because of the inability of the current staff to finish the things at hand.
They'd always strike as if they view me as I am incapable of doing anything at all,
just because I'm not a qualified social worker.
And because I was not a social worker,
they seem to think I have no intelligence or capability to rise higher in this job.
They see themselves as subject experts,
and appreciate other social workers,
and deem anyone else who aren't social workers to be lesser than them.
I work so hard, and take on the majority of the work in all the jobs I've done in this team.
Yet I don't get a word of appreciation from management,
Nor would I ever see a payrise or a promotion to another role for my development.
In fact, when the new job was offered to be in the team,
I heard the manager say in front of me to the Team Leader,
"Not this, not this, this is too high. This one."
And gave me the lowest starting rate for the new advisor role.
This is just when I had to cancel my trip altogether for them, too,
because of their own inability to hire a new staff to cover for the lost staff members.
No matter how much I do for them,
it will all be futile,
and never be valued.
Every now and then,
I'd get the "Why don't you get an iPhone."
All these years,
All I use is Android devices and Huawei phones with Snapdragon/Harmony OS.
There's so much diveristy and so many more options with Android.
Whereas Apple is just this one dead thing, limiting and monopolising.
I have vowed to never ever use an iPhone, nor to purchase any Apple products,
because of what they represent to me in my personal life.
When I heard the "Why don't you go get an iPhone"
after I had just bought the latest Pixel,
hoping that I'd not hear that stupid not-applicable sentence ever again,
Yet it came back once again.
It hits me like a train in my chest,
that all the effort I had put into finding a good phone,
the latest and the best,
putting money every fortnightly aside
money that I wouldn't even spend on food
for a phone,
it was all futile.
All pointless effort.
They will never be satisfied or approve of what ever you have
just because you don't have a damn iPhone.
I just want iPhone OUT of my life.
I don't want to even SEE it.
Using an iPhone is like a frog living in a well.
You think you have the best piece of the sky above you,
but you've NO idea all the sky that stretches beyond that.
I'd get it from my family,
who'd either disapprove of either the place I lived,
or making derogatory comments about how I live,
criticises the people in my life;
sometimes they'd tell me to own less clothes,
why is it even their business?
I buy the clothes with the money that I make.
I can do whatever the hell I want with it,
especially when the clothings choices I make are all good for the environment and good for my skin,
when theirs are not only full of horrible synethic fabric,
and is also - not like mine - unbranded random clothing lines.
Or they'd tell me to cut my hair,
I know my hair is long, but I cut it regularly,
I cut it to help it grow and thrive.
When my most judgmental aunty saw my hair after 7 years this March,
she held it and admired its length.
Any I know they all mean well,
and they all make casual comments without thinking twice,
but they never communicate it in a kind or caring manner,
sometimes they feel like self-projections;
but it all come across as disapproval,
and that's not really my problem, is it.
I can never understand people who want to control or demand other people to do/ have what they really want for themselves.
People all live in different ways.
They made their own choices, so just leave them be.
Live, and let live - that's always been my life motto.
The things the closest people in my life say to me in casual, unappreciative ways
The words cut and drill into my chest,
and cause upheavals at a depth they can never surmise.
The impact of their opinions are deeper than any others'.
They don't even realise the gravity and weight those comments can have on me
Their words come down on my heart like a monolith,
silently yet loudly goes on repeat in my mind.
They make me feel lowly and unworthy.
& These are the things that come up in my head:
"You'll never be good enough."
"You never can be."
"Why did you even try?"
"You will never get what you truly deserve in life - whether it is recognition, appreciation, or peace."
I wonder why these comments are always made by the people closest to me.
They don't even know me well enough,
nor do they have authority over my life.
Hearing their judgmental comments make me want to put them all on silent mode,
if only there could be a Mute button in life.
And whenever I hear them talk like that,
I just want to get away from them,
but I don't usually have another place of my own to go to.
Which is a good reminder that I should really buy myself an apartment,
so I can have my own time, in a place all of my own.
And they are the most important people in my life,
so I can never leave nor do I want them to leave me.
How can you be free from your own family??
Nor can you expect them to be better people,
to be more considerate, or to be more aware.
Those are things outside of your control.
The only thing you can control is yourself and your own reaction.
After processing the feelings inside,
You can still rely on one thing that never fails to make you feel whole again:
And that is
You cannot control what others expect of you, speak of you, think of you,
and you definitely can't get their negativity out of your life
you can get your own good self out of theirs
and out of the dreary drone of quotidien home life
By being in transit, you are taking yourself outside the box.
By being away, you are more at home in yourself.
I find that feeling of being truly me and feeling truly myself when traveling.
Traveling really frees me from the views and shackles of others.
When traveling you are just you, no more, no less, and imperfectly perfect.
You're Fine as you are,
and you'll meet people who won't mind you being who you are, how you are, AS you are.
There is no confines of society, no stupid expectations.
You don't need to be successful or wealthy.
You just need to be you,
a simple being, existing in this big wide world.
You are you,
and you are enough,
you are plenty...
When traveling, you regain who you ARE.
It's just the most freeing feeling.
You are between places, between timezones,
you are nowhere stable, yet very rooted in yourself.
You are not more important or unique than others, yet you are not any less than significant.
You are you, and you are worthy.
You can embody and absorb the values you agree with, learn customs that enliven you,
you can be you while also becoming anybody you wish to be.
You meet people who like you as you are,
admire you as you are,
enjoy your company as you are.
And you feel the same about them.
You meet people who are true,
kind, and simple, and real.
Life is about the moment,
living in the present.
No past, no future.
Just a moving present.
Traveling is just the best.
You are free, because you are as you are, and you can be whoever you desire to be.
I’d spent my life being independent because I had no other choice but to be.
No one’s ever there to look after me and providing me with warmth and companionship,
thinking for me when hunger strikes, when days feel dark, when the heart is heavy.
No, my parents weren't there with me,
I had no siblings,
I moved from school to school too much to develop any permanent deep friendship.
So I have to be strong and move on and get on with it.
Being independent because I can’t afford -& there's no Point - waiting for someone to look after me,
it doesn't mean I'm extremely capable at all,
it doesn't mean I'm invincible, either,
it just means I have no other choice but to pretend I've got it in me to hold it together.
I have always wanted an older brother.
Someone who'd look after me,
someone I can depend on,
someone who would be there when I need him.
Someone who would be my rock, my shelter.
Someone who isn't my father, or lover, nor a friend.
Someone I know I can lean on,
someone who would be there for me.
Someone who'd care about my feelings and look after my daily sentiments,
just like they would like in <<偷偷藏不住>>.
That's why when I do meet someone who does all the little things to look after me
and show me with respect, gentility, kindness, and appreciation,
I go out of my way to visit them, to see them, because I really appreciate them for what they do in their gentlemanly and considerate ways.
As most things at Oranga Tamariki,
The Gallup Strengths test which I so looked forward to ended up being such a disappointment.
I’d taken Gallup Strength test thanks to an amazing management team at Massey
during my time at MAWSA for the role that was the best job I’ve ever had.
I was encouraged to do it, and it was also an opportunity for the staff member who guided me through it as a training and development opportunity.
It was not only a highlight for me,
it also ended up being something I often looked back to and referred to in intellectual conversations with my favourite friend – who also did the test,
and when preparing for interviews for the jobs I applied for after my contract at MAWSA ended.
Thanks to Sarah and Mags, and Anna who took me through the Gallup strengths test,
I felt like I got to not only know myself better,
I felt the parts of myself that made me who I am got recognised and highlighted through this test.
It was a very amazing feeling to be recognised for one’s strengths,
instead of constantly being beaten down for your weakness – which is what I experience on a weekly basis in my team at Oranga Tamariki.
And after a few years of hoping I could do it again,
And even requesting for it in one of the team huis prior,
we finally got offered before our team hui this year.
After we each did the Gallup strengths test, we would bring our results with us to our team hui.
In the 1st day of the hui, for the whole afternoon, we went through our strengths as a group,
and also got around the hui space to find our “ideal” partner.
I used the Gallup key words for strengths and sought for the following qualities in the colleagues in my team
(because these are the qualities I value in human beings in general, therefore they’d make great coworkers as well):
And it was great to see that the colleagues who I like a lot happen to BE the very ones that fulfil these criteria I seek in people.
And they were: Mandy, Wendy, and Claudia.
It was a shame that Xakielia wasn’t there, because she already makes a great colleague,
I’ve no doubt she’d check off some of my favourite qualities herself.
What became outright disappointing though
Was how the Strengths test result ended up categorising me by my leading traits.
I apparently lead by Strategic.
So on the 2nd day of our team hui,
We were asked to sit in groups according to our leading Strengths trait.
I ended up in a group for Strategic,
3 of whom were the dominating voices in the group,
While Yen and I sat there totally didn’t feel like we belonged.
We both liked watching romantic comedy and probably were just congenial semi-introverts that led us to fall under this group,
because if you prefer to spend time alone watching shows and reading books, you’d end up with the attribute of “intellection”.
I can’t remember what Yen got in her top 5, but she certainly was like me, surprised to find ourselves in the Strategic group,
While the 3 loudest voices in the group spoke of things they love and hate that I myself definitely could not relate to less.
One was saying, they must align the color pens in gradient colors.
One said, no fluff, please give me factual, fact-checked, evidence-based information, and that the information needs to make rational logical sense;
and that they cannot have matching colors, unlike the 1st one.
The Execution group voiced their Love and Hate,
Love - “No Fluff”
Hate – “Fluff.”
The last and biggest group in my team was Relationship Builders --
Love – “Fluff”
Hate – “No Fluff”.
By this point, I was getting out of mind
internally putting my head in my hands
feeling like I really wanted to put my hand up and ask to be in the Relationship Building group
and mentally tell myself to stay as much away from the Execution group people as possible in life.
I don’t know why I ended up with Strategic as my leading trait,
But I 100% emotionally and mentally connect more with the Relationship Builders.
I need fluff, and I expect fluff.
The most fluff the better.
I’m all about caretaking of others, and making sure others’ feelings are acknowledged, recognised, and looked after.
I could not STAND the 3 in my Strategic group.
What they hated or loved I could not relate,
and I could not be bothered to add or disagree with anything they raised in their Love & Hate.
I just wanted to add “I need fluff”.
Fluff is important.
People are important,
how saying/doing something makes people feel is important,
whereas Execution people -- simply don’t care,
and Strategic people simply don’t care about people – it’s all just ideas, evidence, facts, data and uniformity or scattering colors.
Those will never be my kinda people.
I don't know how the Strengths calculation did its job,
I calculated all the items in each 4 leading attributes
The highest number of attributes I have is actually under Influencing.
That'd make more sense to me than any of the other categories... :(
How can you NOT do something without taking consideration of how it would make others feel and of its impact on others?
It’s the basic of basic acts of humanity and sign of maturity to take into consideration of others in every action we take and with every word we say.
1 of the people in the Strategy group even said,
“I found out that Empathy is at the very bottom of my list,
which made me feel so much better as a person.”
They said it with such pleasure
i couldn’t but gawk and gasp and pull my hair on the inside!
Get me out of this group!
What ARE these people?
Are they even human???
I don’t belong here!!
Oh wow~ There is a Women of Colour survey that has been placed on the home of our work website today.
I filled it out immediately because,
I see so much problem with lack of diversity and appreciation of women of colour in my work place.
If you look across the floor - on our floor alone,
there is not a SINGLE woman of colour who is in the leadership role.
And I certainly don't feel appreciated as a woman of colour and a woman of a very deep cvivilisational culture in my own team.
And that is a massive problem in itself.
The above is some of what I filled out.
As a person who values different cultures and wisdom of different cultures,
I always make sure to get to know and consult those who are of a different culture.
They always have so much to offer, so much more than those of the European races.
Yet that is definitely not evident at any of the places I worked in New Zealand.
Never have I ever felt appreciated and valued or approached for my unique perspectives based on my culture and my background.
New Zealand - Wellington in particular - a melting pot of a city - has never felt to ME that it wants to learn from the cultural others,
except the Maori and the Pasifika - the more dominating regional groups that have first migrated to Aotearoa.
But even if you traveled to more Pacific Island countries,
you'll even recognise the distinctness of each race.
They're all so different from each other.
Then you have the East Asian and South Asian populations,
and perhaps some Central Asian, Central American and South American presence.
These all are people who brought with them strong cultural ways of doing things.
These are valuable to a workplace,
and need to be appreciated far more by kiwi.
I myself know how MUCH a Chinese person can offer to others,
we have 5000 years of civilisation and cultural wisdom to bring to anyone we meet.
This is WHY i seek out others and want to hear out and absorb others.
But those who might not have been endowed with deep history and cultures with their cultural backgrounds might not have the instinct to want to learn from others.
And that's a shame for them, because they're the ones that are missing out big time.
I personally just want to at least see more non-white women being in leadership roles.
That's the least I'd ask for.
I was organising travel videos today and came across this.
I was telling S. last weekend again just how Beautiful Pukaki and Tekapo are,
I really love to see her visit and stay here,
instead of always putting South Island on hold.
She had a friend that invited her to go to Wanaka,
I was excited for her to go.
I recommended flying to Queenstown for the long weekend,
as it would be the fastest way to get there.
Then they can drive to Wanaka, a mere 2 hours or less away.
I would love that she would travel Te Waipounamu fully when she can.
Hopefully at the end of this year for the summer period.
She would LOVE Tekapo and Pukaki.
Tekapo is a great place to stay,
but it's Pukaki's water color that stunned me.
The water color is so unreal when you first lay eyes on it when I came from Twizel direction.
I thought it was some tarpe or something. It was so bright and popping! And this was from my 2nd time here!
New Zealand is truly beautiful.
Can't beat this place in the summer.
Over the last month,
I wanted to take a break from posting things
(which I will maintain until my actual day of departure),
I was also just living life to the moment
instead of snapping pics and sharing random daily things,
and just focusing on immersing myself in the new language,
and working on all the admin tasks for the next trip.
I mentioned when I put out the polls for selecting the destination-regions,
for me, I want to not cut into my savings this year,
and just go where it’s the least costly.
It doesn’t mean I will keep a low budget and stay in backpackers.
I will still stay in hotels and spend without thinking twice
just as I always do on a trip,
I never budget my trip's spending,
it's not worth limiting the budget when it's the most important time of my life.
I know for sure that this region -
that my friends have all helped me pick using Polls on Instagram Stories -
is definitely gonna be the cheapest region on earth.
Although, unlike what I had thought,
the preliminary costs before I even leave home is already amounting to a large sum/
After some inquiries with each embassy,
it did prove better for me to apply for visas for the countries I'm visiting in this region early on
instead of going by the Visa-on-Arrival option - which is the standard choice for Chinese Tourists.
I chose to apply for the visas now,
to save me the time and pain from having to do them at the borders.
And the visa application process is not at all tedious and dehumanizing like the ones for Europe.
I thought it’d be interesting for me to share
the existing costs that already incurred,
just so you know -
the pains a visa-applicant passport-holder like myself has to go through,
when you yourself may be able to save all that money and effort.
There's no equity or justice to this at all.
Visas Applications (3 in total):
Visa 1 - $300
photos for visa - $25
courier bag x 2 - $15.40
Visa 2 - $60.29
Visa 3 - $83.21
Travel Insurance (as required by the visa application) - $323.23
Total for Visas alone = $807.13 - $323.23 for Insurance = $483.9
Next are the unavoidable -
Costs for flights:
Outbound flights to Country 1 - $1091.60
Inbound flights - $1315.54
Domestic Flight for country 1 - $28.6
Return Flights for Country 2 - $239.40
Return Flights for Country 3 - $306.63
Total for Flights = $2982.03
Finally these are my selected accommodations cost:
Accommodation 1 - $1374
Accommodation 2 - $153
Accommodation 3 - $697 (USD $432)
Accommodation 4 - $207
Accommodation 2 - $65 (same place, just for 1 night)
Accommodation 5 - $726 (USD $450)
Accommodation 2 - $134 (same place, for 2 nights)
Total for Accommodations = $2159
Sum for the whole trip (daily expenses not included of course) = $6337.77
That's a whopping large sum already.
And that's for the cheapest region in the world that I can think of.
My spending in Europe is at least triple that.
It's crazy how expensive traveling from NZ as a Chinese passport holder is.
I cannot wait for the day when I'm living in the northern hemisphere,
and not having to apply for visas for most places in the world.
I fully believe that the Chinese passport will reach that stage
We rushed back to China to see my grandmother in case it would be the last time.
And it really became the last time.
I lead my life so that I live without regrets.
I have so many regrets around my grandmother.
Not seeing her enough in the years before now,
not letting her see me getting married, and for me to do the marital bows to her,
not giving her a chance to hold my child as I still don't have one now,
not getting to spend another Spring Festival with her again like I so wanted to,
not being able to give her one last hug before she departed forever as she was stuck in the hospital bed,
not looking at her long enough one last time before I left for the train back to Beijing, as I wanted myself to believe that she would survive this time, and that I would see her again...
Cathay Pacific. Wellington ground staff simply would not let my mom check in for her flight to &. Reason being, PCR test result is not provided.
Yet the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in New Zealand website for Chinese travelers clearly states : RAT home test can be used instead. Dated 27 Feb.
My mom took the RAT test
And took it with her upon check-in.
It didn't count for them.
They insisted on her needing a PCR.
Likewise, Cathay Pacific website Travel Restrictions section clearly states: Chinese Passport holders traveling to can use RAT test instead of PCR test.
Dated: 7 March.
But ground staff in Wellington AND Auckland simply would not accept the official information from both the airline and the New Zealand Embassy.
They forced her to book a PCR test otherwise they would not check her in. Which costed $400+.
Ground staff even suggested putting her on a flight for tomorrow if we can't secure a PCR test.
Considering our situation, we can't possibly delay the trip by another Minute.
My mom was so exasperated, and ended up collapsing on the floor.
No one even offered her a chair to sit down.
She was so upset by the whole experience.
It caused such a significant amount of emotional distress that my mom was unable to make the booking in her mental state.
I had 20min left till boarding closed at final call at this point,
and my mom still hadn't checked in yet.
I was feeling desparate and my hands were shaking as I held my mom's cellphone.
I asked to speak to the manager, who would not turn up at the check-in counter.
Ground staff at check-in called the manager, who agreed to let us check in only if we are able to show we have made a booking for a PCR test at Hong Kong side.
I was fine with that, I could work with that.
But I literally had to rush to the custom and to go through the security check myself,
Otherwise I'd miss the flight to see my grandmother myself.
I had to run to custom, and told my mom that I would book her a direct flight with Air New Zealand for today while I stood in queue.
So that she could get on a flight to China ASAP herself.
While I was in the queue,
It ended up with ground staff making the booking for her themselves.
Then they finally checked her in at 10min before Boarding time.
She boarded the on Final Call with 10min remaining before the gate closed.
Because the Queue at Auckland Airport was really bad as multiple airlines scheduled their flights at the same time.
The entire experience was a whole load of stress, distress, and despair for my mom.
And I myself was stopped right at the gate,
after being taken by a golf cart there as it was on final call already.
The very unfriendly female staff outside the gate blocked me at the gate and took my boarding passes for the next 2 connecting flights,
and forced me to book a PCR test before I was allowed to board the flight.
I asked how much longer till the gate would close?
She said, you have 6 minutes.
In a rush,
my hands shook as I held my phone,
I found the most random irrelvant and untimely testing centre inside Hong Kong at a comunity centre on a day that I wouldn't even be able to make it.
I showed the female staff the booking, she didn't even look at it,
she saw the QA code and confirmation and let me board the flight.
-- With 4 min remaining before the gate closed.
This was the most awful and devastating experience I've ever had to experience.
It was so stressful and so unnecessary.
It was all a matter of human choices,
and literally Cathay Airways staff not even following official guidelines & policies.
We were rushing back home for a family emergency.
We could not afford to waste another day.
Every single second mattered - it was actually a matter of life and death.
It was an experience of desparation and demise.
It was the only and the worst check-in and boarding experience I've ever had in my life.
The key of all of this was:
China does not WANT to see your test result. PCR or RAT.
It is Not at all a requirement at the border.
They didn't ask for it when we came through the border, at all.
The only thing needed was the QR health code which you can fill out on a form online.
Cathay Pacific Airways seems to only want to cause trouble for people instead of following official travel requirements.
What kind of conversation draws you in?
The shallow small-talks where people tell each other what they “do” in life
- as if 1 occupation summarizes their whole being;
whether they have 2 luxury cars or 3 properties,
Whether they have a girlfriend or boyfriend,
if they tend to go for a run or just go to the gym,
or which day they’d like to catch up but won’t actually?
These questions are examples of "Me-sharing".
They carry very subjective information that stops at where you have spoken your words.
Unless you’re a vain person,
Me-sharing small talk won’t get you very far.
They’re only good ice-breakers that should lead to I-sharing exchanges,
“What is it about Sabrina Claudio’s songs that just feels so good?”
“Do you actually like your job?”
“Would you be interested in answering the Marcel Proust questionnaire?”
“Oh my gosh, these buns look just like the ones we’d make in China!”
The kind of conversation that draws me in
are always intellectual ones and real talks.
Something new and revelatory that I’ve never thought about
something informative without being pushy or propagandic.
Words and messages that seep into our hearts,
rather than appealing to our vanity.
Small talks aren’t repulsive to me,
they just feel rather repetitive, hence boring.
They are essential to making connections,
So I often find ways to respond to small-talks by twisting it around.
In everyday life in New Zealand, you always hear “How are you?”
Apart from saying “Good” which hides so much more behind the word,
I’d often say Hungry instead, which is true most of the time,
Or I’d say "I'm alright~", then proceed to ask something in turn about the person based on how well I may already know them.
When we travel,
“Where are you from?” is the most typical small talk or opener people would use to introduce themselvee.
You'd hear it being asked a lot if you have an accent or look that isn't immediately apparent to people.
In most cases, I was the person hearing this question getting asked.
I suppose people ask it without thinking twice,
which also suggests, it was the laziest thing they could come up with at the time when they met you.
It risks rendering them uninteresting.
That question also often makes me wonder ...
What's the point of this question exactly?
So instead, I say this in response:
"You can take a guess."
The kind of conversation that helps people who have no reason to like each other build connection is what’s been termed as “I-sharing”.
The sharing of deeper level commonalities that go beyond cultures, languages,
or any other diversity that may seem to alienate one person from another.
I-sharing is something you do when you identify similarities despite cultural gaps or language barriers.
I see Wanderreds do it so often with people wearing Madrid soccer team t-shirts.
It’s the easier way to bond with people,
over teams in sports.
Because our brain is wired to have in-group, out-group mentalities.
So by linking ourselves to another over something we can share in common, we find familiarity and draw each other closer by the similarity we share.
I listened to this Google Talk on Spotify titled:
Nobody Understands You and What to Do About it.
And it mentioned the importance of I-sharing.
Because it was a talk held at Google for the Googlers,
It was centred on how to make someone like you at work.
This I-Sharing concept really only reminded me of traveling more.
When we are fortunate enough to make connection with someone.
Those connections we build often come from I-sharing -
The sharing of experiences because of traveling.
I-Sharing comes so naturally when we meet people on our travels.
Our eyes are widened by fresh faces,
We’re excited about making new acquaintance,
curious and intrigued,
free from history and bad experience,
unburdened by the daily conundrum of the same-scenes, same activities.
Don’t you just love the first moments when you meet someone somewhere new?
A good example of I-Sharing is when you talk about a meaningful topic with someone.
Those are the things that reach you at the core,
that makes you see someone clearer,
that highlights who they are,
not just what they seem on the surface.
To show interest in what someone may think or know,
To listen and not just talk,
to observe and take things in.
That’s what makes connections.
The source of the connection is in fact ourselves.
By seeking for what brightens our eyes and opens our heart,
we also become more interesting and more approachable
A person is happy when s/he does not even feel whether time is passing fast or slow.
This week I feel an increasing sense of an awareness of time. It's not great.
Every day I'm so conscious of when my body naturally wakes up,
My alarms tell me when I need to get ready to leave for the train.
When I'm on the train, I count which day of the week this is.
When I arrive at the station, I look at the time to see how late the train was.
When I get to work, I count the clock towards midday.
When it's 12pm - midday - i stand up and go get myself a feed.
When it's Wednesday, I'm glad it's hump day.
When it's 4pm, I shut everything down and I get out of the office.
When I get home, I make myself some food and feed my hungry belly.
When it's 9:30 or 10:00. I take myself to bed.
When it's Thursday, I count 2 more days till the weekend.
When I get home on Friday, I think, "Finally it's the weekend."
I hate it.
I don't prefer this extreme awareness of time.
my sense of time consists of:
I'm starving, must get something to eat.
Wow...almost sunset...Where can I go to watch it.
It's getting dark, should I go see the city lights or take some night photography & hit the sack?
Life is simple.
Life feels fuller and longer.
That's just it.
I don't know or care what day of the week it is,
what time of the day it is.
Time is incredibly irrelevant unless I'm catching the train or a flight to go somewhere.
every day feels more amazing, more full of memories,
each day is lived longer, and more.
time freezes in specific moments,
and stretches out in your consciousness.
Though clock may be ticking,
but it's got nothing to do with me.
Moments become years of memories for the future.
Peace and happiness fill my heart with elation.
Nothing else matters.
Not even my life at home, not even my puppy.
It is just me and there and then.
Nothing else comes in to the moment
but what I see, where I am, and the joy I feel.
1 of the happiest moments and most fulfilled hours of my trip
was when I didn't take my camera with me.
I don't know why it's always when the camera isn't on me,
but it just is like that sometimes. It happens to be that way.
This place in Luxembourg City was the 1st place I went,
and the last place I went again just to remember it.
I was so happy when I arrived there on my 1st day,
and I was so incredibly fulfilled
and so bloody grateful
when I saw this amazing sight under the moonlight on my final night.
It was not like time stopped or anything,
but it just became time immemorial.
I cannot tell you how happy I was when I first came to this spot.
There was No one.
The entire place was mine.
It was incredible because before this, I was in extremely touristy Belgium.
It's almost impossible to find a place you can enjoy alone,
except down quiet streets in Bruges of all places.
To finally be able to be alone
âand enjoy an eyeful of castle-like city that Luxembourg is
was incredibly elating.
I was joyous.
My heart could burst from happiness.
I fell immediately in love with Luxembourg City.
After I'd been to the Grund,
walk all around the lower city, and back up to overlook the Grund from the top,
I was certain:
this place is it.
I could live here for sure.
It's like Wellington but 100,000x more historic and gorgeous.
I absolutely loved it there.
And then you have what's prided as - Fiji time.
Where you literally may lose the sense of time and
everything is just as delayed as it possibly can.
No hurry, no rush.
Everything is late anyway,
why you worry about it.
Discard all your chaos and rushing mindset.
That's the life I want to live.
Where days are nothing but
and the in-between.
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