Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rain & Tears

Rain and Tears (雨和泪) is the song that both I and Ray picked and we both love the music and the lyric. I have kept this song tugged away in my memory... and now I like to share with those who are reading here and hope you like it too... The very fantastic singer.....Demis Roussos ! The original version is by Aphrodites Child (the first group who sang the song) ... ENJOY!

Monday, April 27, 2009

How much do you need?

How much do you need? How much is enough?

In our world today, people spend a lot of time accumulating materials needs - house, cars, clothes, monies, shares etc. So much so that we have no time for our self. As you accumulate more, the word 'Mine' is making you smaller. 'Mine' makes you selfish. Some guard their monies and refused to part with it. I came across someone who told me 'I work hard for my monies, why should I give it away or donate it?

We spend a lot of time cultivating our 'outside' and what about our 'inside'? My best friend said that I am over critical on myself. She has been reading my posts silently all these while, she saw me from my writings. That is also why she thinks that I am living my life and happiness depending on what other think of me. I lost myself. So how much is enough? What is joy? Let me share with you a story.....

Once upon a time, a King was trying to instill some wisdom into his subjects. He saw them fighting with each other for status, money and materials gains. They can no longer sit down and talk or try to see one another point of view. At the end of the day, they split into two camps and each does not communicate with the other. One day the King asked his ministers

King : 'So what have you two come up with for my birthday celebration?'
Minister A : We are discussing and have a plan but Minister B did not agree to it.
Minister B : Excellency, we have a good plan too, but Minister A wanted his way.

King shakes his head and went into deep thoughts. These two are fighting and they are my best ministers. Each thinks that he is right. How can I entrust my kingdom to such selfish, small hearted and petty officials?

King : Since the two of you refused to compromise and accept each other views, I am not forcing you. 'A' think he is right and 'B' think he is right - you guys can keep your pride. I am arranging a competition to celebrate my birthday and everyone can participate. As you know I have no heir and I need to entrust my Kingdom and the happiness of my people to someone who proof his worth.

On the joyous day, the King announced...

King : My precious countrymen, today I open my kingdom to the first 1000 citizens who want to participate in this race. The starting point is from my palace and every mile you cover, you stick the color flags given to you on the ground. How much you cover, that land is yours.

Everyone was thinking 'Oh! Our King has gone mad and he is giving away his kingdom.' This is an opportunity of a life time. When registration is opened, everyone rushed to put their names down. There was jostling and punching, pushing and quarrelling....but the King remained unmoved. Finally the noblemen got registered and some of the citizens. The race started. The two most 'hard on' competitors were Minister A and Minister B. Because the race has to be undertaken by themselves and no assistance allowed, they set off in different directions.

Many dropped off along the way but the two Ministers continued to run. As days and months went on, the race was left with just 'A' and 'B' competing. People's interest waned after many months. People went back to their daily lives, their work and slowly people forgotten about the race.

During this period, the King got himself a new set of Ministers. They were cordial and sincerely wanted the goodness of the country. The two camps of ministers who took sides dissolved since they are not able to get any benefits from 'A' and 'B' now.

It went on for years. Both the Ministers did not come back. One day, the King's horsemen came back with news and the bodies of the two Ministers. Countrymen were gathered in front of the Palace and everyone was sobber. The two Ministers have killed themselves in the race.

King : I am very sorry for the two Ministers. My purpose of this Race is to teach all of you to be humble, to be giving, to compromise, to forgive and to be happy and grateful for what you have. Now this outcome really hit the nail on the head.

King paused....he went into deep thoughts..

King : It is also the fault of the ministers who took sides. You are not good friends to the Ministers. Instead of helping them to resolve their differences, you fanned their anger so they accumulated fake vanity. This fake vanity and their pride killed them.

King : So what are you all fighting for? How much power do you need? How much material do you need? If anyone can answer this, I shall give him the hand of the Princess in marriage and also name him my successor.

The whole crowd was quiet. It was so quiet that it was said 'even a drop of a pin', you can hear it. After a long silence, a young minister stepped forward.

Young Minister : My Dear King, I knew about the two ministers’ history from my father. I was a young man in school. Today I am a Minister and instead of seeing them well, they have died in the course of pride and greed.

King : Indeed true. Do you want to tell us your answer to my question?

Young Minister : There is nothing much we need actually. These two gentlemen have covered miles and miles of lands...and finally they only need a grave. Our wealth, our pride, our material wealth and our body only need this much. Once we are dead, nothing matters.

King was amazed at the wisdom of this young Minister. So marriage was arranged and King retired to be the happy grandfather of two lovely grandsons. The whole country was peaceful and people were happy with each other. The Young King ruled wisely.

So.... how much do you need?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Food...Oh! Food

The dictionary definition of Hunger : a compelling need or desire for food.

Yes, this is a feeling, a sensation, a reaction of one organ within your body sending a message to another organ telling ‘Him’…. I am hungry! You would immediately look for food to fulfill this desire. The hungrier you get, a chain reactions will occur. You either get angry, faint, weakness in limbs, pumping of your heart…more complications...or finally die. Dying from hunger is a long process. Your body mass accumulated enough fats to sustain it until you find food, but what if foods don’t come?

I am sure we all have gone through some experiences of hunger. For one, I did. It is not because I came from a poor country or a poor home. The hunger I felt or experience is a ‘choice’ not a ‘must’. Sometime I delayed eating due to rush of work to meet dateline (as it is always the case), I felt hunger but continue working. There are some who had to do a ‘hunger’ weight loosing program to look slim although there are already thin like a pencil! I am amazed that they can do it without considering the danger they are imposing on themselves. Of course you read in papers that they died of ‘hunger’. How ironical!

In this tiny little island that I lived on, food is never a problem for the time being. When you are in an affluent society, food became an ‘indulgent’. For countries that food is so readily available, we will never imagine that come one day when food is no longer ‘ever’ present and became a ‘luxury’. Now we can afford to throw away food, starve our self’s crazy, go on weight losing programs and be ‘oblivious’ about things that are happening around us, let alone the World.

Since I am a Blogger and when I started blogging, I became more and more aware of happenings around me. It is obvious because I search for information and facts before posting on certain topics. As I now belong to a Group, I support them for the good work they are doing ‘Raising Awareness'.

Hunger and Hope 2009 is one of the events. As I agreed to blog about it, my appeal to all my readers – When next time you eat, be mindful of the word ‘enough’. Ask for the portion that is ‘enough’ – many have the mentality that ‘for worth of my money, the bigger the portion the better’ and later the big portion of left over went into the rubbish bin.

I worked in a hotel once and I asked the management “Why must we throw away food leftover from the buffet tables? Can we not give them to the Staff in the Canteen?” Their answer - “It is the Code of Practice”. What a waste! They can also give it to a community or adopt a community nearby so that they can have food. If some big time Hotel Owners or CEOs reading this humble message from this humble blog, please think about this. Especially for those big chain hotels operating in poorer country. However, such big men will not have time for blogs, they got better things to do!

Anyway, I will have pages to write if I were to continue. Therefore I am going on a one day ‘detox’ program on 29th April 2009. I am going to let myself experience Hunger to remind myself how fortunate I am to have food in my stomach and to remind myself that there are so many of my fellow beings out there who are starving and dying because of lack of food. My wish for them - May they have food in their stomach!

Do join me if you want to be in this one day ‘detox’ for a good course! I count my blessings…. and you too!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Day's Trip... Pulau Penyengat

There are more than 3,000 islands under the Riau Archipelago. The more famous ones are Batam and Bintan. They are nearest to Singapore.

My main purpose of this trip was to see Gin as his wife was knocked down and died in an accident leaving behind a daughter. At the same time, I want to meet old friends, savor all the Bak Kut Teh, Char Kueh Tiow, Nasi Lemak, Otah Otah that I missed so much since I left Indonesia. I also want to do some shopping too. So there are two itinerary on my schedule - Tj Pinang and Pulau Penyengat.

We set out as early as 6.45am. The sky decided she is not going to be sunny so it was drizzling all the way from home to the ferry terminal.

Who said the economy is bad? The crowd in the ferry terminal packed the place to full. Bus loads of tourists and Singaporean were in queue to get into the departure hall. When we arrived, I quickly ran to the counter to collect my tickets. The gentleman in the counter said ‘Madam, I think you will miss the 8.50am ferry. Look at the ‘Q’, you will not be able to get through’. I decided that I am not going to be passive so I walked up to the Immigration police officer and told him that I had a ferry to catch and I am only left with 15 minutes which I felt that the ‘Q’ is not going to move fast enough for me to clear formalities. The Immigration police officer was very nice. He made way for me and my brother to clear all formalities and we ran all the way to the boat because we were just out of the gate at 8.50am. Fortunately we managed to board the ferry and waited for another 10 passengers before she sailed. 

The sky darkened and started to pour. The journey took about 2 hours so I told Meng a little history about these islands. Bintan is part of the Riau islands (3000 islands), which is under Indonesia today. However during the early century, the Riau islands were under the ruler-ship of the Malay Sultanate. Pulau Penyengat was given as a wedding gift to a Princess and it became the center of government, Islamic religion and Malay culture. It was said that all the Malay Sultans were enthroned here in the Sultan Mosque. This is also a burial ground for Royal families and many of the famous sultans were buried on the island as well. Today, we saw more Chinese in Tanjong Pinang because it was set up by the Chinese and the Dutch when Bintan became a Dutch Colony. Pulau Penyengat remains uniquely Muslim and most of the families residing on the island are Indonesian Malays.

As the ferry headed towards Tanjong Pinang, it brought back memories of my time on this island, Bintan. It is 2 years since I left Indonesia. I used to drive myself around the island on weekends. The ‘cross country’ drive took me from Lagoi to Sungei Kechil, from Tikora to Tj Pinang and from Simpang Lagoi to Uban and Lobam. I love to drive alone. Usually when I exit Simpang Lagoi, I took the road I fancied and drove on until I hit a dead end and U-turn back. So my adventure took me to secluded spots of untouched beaches along the coast. It took me to cheap and good home cooked seafood restaurants. It took me to pineapple plantations that were so vast and my eyes cannot see the end of the area. It also took me to a sleazy kampong where they housed 800 'Women of Comfort'. Humm.m.m. those were the days!

To finish the whole story, here are the pictures I took while on the islands.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our Home…The Earth

I did not know that we have hurt our Earth so badly. Because of survival, we exploited the only place we have. Because we need to move forward, we created the word ‘modernization’. Because of ‘modernization’, we started factories, air-conditioned, building houses, cutting down trees etc…etc…etc… All the fumes created polluted the air. As time goes by, the climate is getting hotter and hotter. We exploited everything we can lay our hands on, from land to sea to space. Being ignorant as we are, we all follow what are created for our comfort. We did not question, we did not doubt, we forgot that the Earth, like any other thing we have, that if not taken care of will break down.

Years after years we stripped Mother Nature of her inheritance. We keep taking but we did not give back. We did not slow down in our needs, we keep wanting more.

We are cutting up trees for homes. We are very proud of a house made of wood. We would say we love nature and therefore use wood to build a house or as furnishing. We cut trees for papers, for fuel for more than I can imagine. We forgot that trees give out oxygen molecules in the morning and takes in carbon dioxide. It is important. It plays a big part in keeping the earth safe. We cut trees faster than it can grow. Now we tore the space apart…we created a hole in the sky!

As we went on to create more and more non biodegradable stuff, the disposing of these is to burn it. These release toxic to the air. It clogs up the Earth when thrown around.

I am looking at only a micro aspect of what I can see and feel. What about the macro pictures?

We dig the Earth of its minerals, both land and seas. We move too far ahead and we cannot go back to simple living anymore. We have plenty but we are never enough. So our poor Mother Nature, she had a mass of ungrateful children. They never help her clean the house but created more rubbish instead.

However there are always a group of people who cares about the environment, they are so small that their voices are drowned until now. Lets cross our fingers that it is not too late.

What can we do....

1) Save Water – You only need enough water to wash. 'Used' water can also be recycled to wash floors, water plants, flush your toilet etc.

2) Electricity – switch on only when you need it. I have given up using a hot water boiler that is turned on forever. I now boil only when I need it.

3) Carriers – Plastic bags - avoid collecting too many of them. These items are non biodegradable and it will harm the environment. Paper bags are made from pulp and that is cutting down more trees. Try using non-woven bags. They are handy and easily foldable and can be kept in our handbags. Use this when you go shopping.

4) Plastic water bottles – I used them as flower vase (see the picture). I filled the smaller bottles with drinking water and put them into my fridge. The excess I put them into recycling bags for collection.

Do you know you can weaved around cola cans and make them into beautiful pencil holders? You can also stick ‘blink blink’ all over them as well. They are pretty and usable and a good gift for friends.

5) Someone created disposable chopsticks from wood. It is a good idea to save water and for hygiene purpose but it is like an exchange – save the water and cut the trees. In the end we did not save the environment. Therefore I suggest we carry our own chopsticks around and eat with it.

6) For unwanted clothing and shoes, please send to an organization so that they can send them to countries that need them.

For 'the creative', they can cut old clothes, patch, sew and add accessories to make themselves another new dress. They can use left over fabrics to make toys… see are these cute? They are filled with sands.

Last year Earth Day, we went for nature walk around the forest to be with the trees, feel the earth underneath our feet, feel the breeze on our face, breath the air, watch butterflies fluttering around flowers, say hello to an iguana walking by and it is good to know we are the Earth and the Earth is us!

This year, I will sort out all my clothes and put them into recycle bags for collections.

PROTECT the Earth and Support Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Wise Sayings...

Readers feedback to me that they enjoyed my last wise sayings posting and requested for more. As these are my experiences, it needs to be collected over time. So here is the 2nd lots...and enjoy!

Life is a challenge; it is not a war path!

Some think they can take women for a ride, you will soon find out who is the ‘Rider'.

When things get tough, the Tough keeps running away.

$$$, how come you devalued by half?

Stop! In the name of Love, but not Lie!

Once you arrived into this World, you are programed to Work and Work and Work.

The Earth? Where is that? Did a fish knows she is living in the water?

How many of us Drink tea or we Gulp down a cup of tea?

What is a Hero? It is He who roars!

When something hit your Head, you do not cover your Butt!

What is Love? After all that has been said, have you found it?

Love is ‘It’. It is not a ‘She’.

If you cannot stop having Sex, you surely do not need any Aids!

To Err is Human, so you need no forgiving.

The Earth is the biggest rubbish bin; it has all the ‘Rubbish’ in it.

The Earth is the biggest Zoo, you need not go too far to look for any kind of ‘Animal’!

Love is but a foot away. What happen when it is a mile off?

Do you know we carry an ever ready graveyard around? Yes, your stomach!

Lessons in Life are learnt and taught by the most unexpected teachers named Adversity.

Everyday we experience different challenges and situations. The only way out is to acknowledge, watch and learn from it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Candle & her story...

When I was a kid, I heard stories about candles. This inspired me to be one but later I realized that it is not something everyone can achieve. Therefore I wrote a story about a Candle named 'Shine'.

There is this Candle named Shine. She lives with all the other items in a room. Shine always feels that she is useful because when night comes, Human uses her to light up the place.

One day all the items in the room heard heavy footsteps. Human opened the door and walked in with more Human bodies. They are talking....

Human A : 'You have to run a wire from here to there. The bulb should be in the center of the room. Have you picked the hood to go with it?

Human B : 'Yes, I have done all that. Where do you want the switch to be located?'

Human C : I think beside the door. Once you open the door you can feel for it and switch it on.

Humans are talking and walking out of the room. Conversation dies down and footsteps’ fade. The items in the room start to talk.

Books : What are they talking about? I am not able to make head or tail out of it?
Chair : Me too?
Framed Picture : 'Shine, you know what they are talking about? They are pointing at the ceiling and also on the wall where I am hanging.'
Shine : 'No, I suppose we will know soon'. Shine is puzzled as well but tries to comfort the others with kind words.

A few Humans came back two days later. They make so much noise by drilling and knocking and running wire and putting a hood like thing and a white round ball. They also put something they call 'switch' on the wall. Picture is relieved because they did not take him down.

When all the knockings are completed, Human A came in and by putting his finger on the wall, WOW! we are all blinded by this white lights from the hood. Instantly the room brightens up and everything can be seen clearly. The Humans are laughing and talking and are happy that the installation is successful. They left the lights on and walk out of the room.

Book : Hi, who are you. You are so bright. Now we can see each other clearly in the room.

Bulb : I am a conduit to bring light to the room. Hood and me are together, we are a pair. We go everywhere together.

Hood : (snobbishly) I am Hood, I come in different colors, sizes and shapes.

All the items in the room were quiet. They are thinking 'Shine' has always been the one that gives light, so what now?

Bulb to Shine : Hey, you are a candle aren't you? You are old and troublesome. You are a fire hazard too. Although we are related, I am sorry you will be phased out. We all do not need you around.

Some of the items in the rooms are curious about Bulb and hood and forgotten about Shine. They found new friends and are excited about it.

Human A walks into the room again. He did some packing. Automatically he picks up Shine and shafts her into a drawer out of sight. Human A has no need for Shine anymore.

Shine lies quietly in the dark drawer. She wants to cry but she can only cry when she lights up. Now all her tears are contained inside, kept in the heart.

Times fly. Shine is forgotten. Only drawer knows that Shine is inside her.

Drawer : Shine, don't be sad. Humans are ungrateful. They like new toys and they forget the old ones.

Shine : Thanks Drawer. If not for you, I really have no friends. Out of sight, out of mind...is the word. (Shine smiled sadly to herself).

Drawer : I think this thing called 'Electricity' is great but one day these Humans will need you. Look at it this way - they still use you to create ambient in a room, they use you on dinner tables, they use you for religious purposes etc.

Shine thanked Drawer for her encouragement, for her friendship and for understanding that she is still useful.

One evening, the sky outside is raining. All of a sudden lights go out.

Wife : Oh! it is so dark in here. I cannot see myself and where are you Dear?

Human A : I am here. I have a candle somewhere, let me look for it.

Human A found Shine. He lights up Shine. Shine is happy now because she can cry. She cries and cries and cries tears of joy.

Shine silently burnt herself. As her tears melt away, she becomes shorter and shorter. She simply burnt herself happily. She wants to serve her purpose. It is her duty to provide lights in the darkest hour. She accepts the fact that people will forget her when Electricity is on. As she silently tears and gives out lights, Wick is burning out too.

Wick to Shine : My dear friend, we have served out purpose. I will have to die first. Shine, it is good having you as a buddy. I know your tears will take time to dry. You are great and remember that. Without you, there is no light in this darkest hour. Even as Wick is burning out, he did not forget to give a word of kindness to Shine. Such a big heart!

With this Wick dies and Shine slowly dries up too. Her tears are hardening wax. Human A and Wife are asleep. They did not know that Shine has expired.


How do you like this story? It is my story, created by me and not taken or lifted from anyone. There is morale behind the story - Shine and Wick are doing their duties. They are burning themselves for the sake of others. In the course, others forget them but when opportunity arises, they are happy to do their part. Such are the actions of Bodhisattva. Do everything silently. No need to argue. No need to advertise greatness, just gently serve. No one will notice that Shine is gone. No one will miss her. There are many Shines in the world.

CANDLE lights themselves to bring lights to the world. If you ask Shine what she would be in her next life and she will tell you "I will still come back as Shine." Such is the greatness of selflessness.

Chinese has a saying ' Light oneself to light up others'. An easier said than done philosophy.

So may all of you who are enjoying Electricity....do remember the Candle that once lights up for you. Have you forgotten a Candle somewhere?

by....Lian莲. You are welcome to share this story with friends

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today's topic derived from the recent chit chats with friends about 'drink-king'.

"Drink What?"..."What do you want to drink?"...common questions during socializing. Again there are many answers :

Kid : I want ice cream, I don't want to drink!
A bunch of school girls to the order takers : Coke, Ice Lemon Tea.e., Ice Chocolate..and the list goes on!
Girl to the waiter : Hot Coffee please, without sugar and milk. (why can't she just say 'Coffee black'!)
Girls at bar counter : Vodka, vodka, vodka..Margarita..Singapore Sling..!
Guys to the bar counter : Beer....beer....beer.... (Happy hours...so drink beer)
Lian : 'Sky juice' please (no more coke for me...)
Alice : Red wine...
Philip : White..wine..
Ben: (looked at the menu...take some time to decide)...Ginger Ale!
Raymond : (act blur and look blur)...YiYe.e.e you order what I drink what!...Ok.ok...give him an ice 'la..mon'..teee..

Gosh..after the above, you know by now I am talking about a beverage...named 'drink'. ha.a.a.a.

People drink various beverages for various reasons..

1) Health - Experts said "one day must drink 8 bottles of 1 lit of 'sky juice'. It makes you healthy, cleanse your intestine, cleanse your urine, your skin will shine, less intake of sugar so it keep you slim.....

2) Thirsty.

3) To wash down the 'food' you are eating.

4) Must drink - babies drink milk…it is 'food' to them.

5) Entertaining – you are the host.

6) Socializing - you are at a ‘mixing’ around in a pub or club.

7) Addicted....

8) To drown sorrows..

9) To help slumber..ing

So the drinking I am saying is more of alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic drinks are 'intoxicant'. After a few rounds of boozez.z.z you will get high. It goes with both men and women. It affects proper thinking and judgment. It makes you 'brave' - things you won't do when you are 'sane'..you will do it under the influence of 'drinks'. Drive and get into an accident, killing oneself and innocent party – it is irresponsibility behavior. Some people get so addicted that we called them 'drunkard'…not just a name for men, there are women too. Some damages are so extensive to the internal organs…it is slow suicide. Some have to go through therapy to stop drinking...the process is so painful. I wonder how many of you have seen video of people 'kicking' off drugs...it is just like that. You have to check into hospital to do it.

Especially girls...my dear God!..we are the worst bunch..and the most venerable bunch..and we subject ourselves to :

1) Being abuse (by husband/ boyfriends/ parents - why do they want a drunkard wife, girl friend or daughter?)

2) Raped when you are drunk - it happened all the time and you woke up with your clothes gone, bruises all over your body - the worst is mental torture - it is the shame you have to live with. To be raped and yet you do not know who is the person or persons. It happened to a friend. The shame and the trauma lead to depression.

3) In the intoxicated state, you probably could not even walk straight..and get yourself killed while stumbling around looking for a 'cab'.

4) Seen as being a 'slut' - out for fun and can be easily 'laid'. Worst if you are holding a cigarette.

5) Robbed and killed.

6) Get into a car accident while driving (this happen more to male drivers..but the possibility is there.)

7) Some girls are high and partially drunk. They know what is happening. It is only that they cannot co-ordinate their limbs..so they fall all over the place. A friend told me that some girls did it purposely because when they are 'sane' they are proper.

7) A friend's son told his Mum...'Mum, you know all these girls at the clubs/pubs..after a few rounds of drinks, they walk passed you and brushed their ‘tops’ against you. There is no modesty!

A guy friend once told me … “Men eat and tell”. Girls… your reputation is down the chute!

Girls where are our "Dignity" ?

Today, I just want to appeal to all my 'lady' counterparts if you are reading here. Do not get me wrong. I am not saying all those who drinks are wrong. Please drink if you need too...know your limits...because some needs the alcohol to help them sleep..to some red wine is good for hearts...for whatever reasons...do not 'INDULGE'... Once you get hooked onto the bottle, you are in for lots of ‘things’. Be moderate…drink with Class.

I am a bad drinker. A few sips...or a small bottle of beer...and I am a total knockout. Moreover I try to observe my precepts.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

'Sane' or 'Insane'...?

My friend knew that I am interested in photography and sent me these pictures that he shot with his handphone. These photos are named ‘The Chain’.

I looked at the photos, questions started forming in my mind.

1) Why are they all chained up in pair?
2) Who are these people – convicts?
3) Where is this place – a prison?

When I looked carefully at their expressions, I realized that they looked like they are mental patients. The are in a place in Taiwan. They live in an asylum run by monks. Again I wondered why they are chained. Isn’t it ‘inhuman’ to do so? When my friends told me that the monk named the chain, ‘The Chain of Compassion’, it finally drawn on me that it may seems cruel and I think it still is…but it is probably the best way.

Mental patients live in a world of their own. They imagine things, they hear voices, they talk to themselves, they smile to themselves, they laugh to themselves, they cry to themselves… can anyone one of us understand? What has gone through them that they are what they are today? What tremendous happenings turned a ‘sane’ person into an ‘insane’ person? Where is the line between ‘sanity’ and ‘insanity’?

The monks explained that they chained the ‘not so insane’ to an ‘insane’ one. This is to let them looked after each other so that they will not run loose and it is easier to account for them. It is a method but what about the issue of being compassionate? Does it means that the ‘insane’ have no right to be treated like human? My friend argued that the ‘insane’ can be dangerous. I agree but they react because they are frighten or being threaten? If they are left in their own world and no one ‘ignites’ the fire, will they run amok?

To me, the ‘Sane’ are more unpredictable. We saw the chopping up of a Chinese girl by her lover and dumped into the river – this person was supposed to be ‘sane’? Although I sympathized with his family, I just wonder how can a man lift his hands to chop up a girl whom he has slept with, had relation with, had provided him comfort and had met his animal needs? What stage of mind justified such behavior? If it was ‘fear’ or ’shame’ or ‘felt threaten’ or probably the cat is getting out of the bag so why did he ‘keep’ the cat in the first place?

The Chain of Compassion…erm.m.m…such a beautiful name.

My friend narrated to me briefly about one of the inmates who wrote a letter to his mother. His mother sent him into the asylum 30 years ago. She probably did not return to see him or she is no longer around.

This is my summary. He wrote to his mother telling her that he is much better now. He is no longer being chained like he first arrived because he loves to set fire and he nearly burnt down the house. He remembered that he got chained because the monks couldn’t risk him burning down the whole asylum. He said that he is now the leader and mother should be proud of him. He promised that he will not play with fire again and whether his mother will allow him to come home? He mentioned the activities inside the asylum. The inmates are taught how to sing and dance and perform. This is needed because the outside world heard about this place and wanted to come in and see for themselves. These ‘sane’ people brought with them presents, foods, clothes and money as donations. To thank these ‘kind souls’, they have to perform. He compared the inmates to be like ‘monkeys’. The inmates do not like it but the monks said that these donations are needed to run the asylum. He mentioned that he personally do not like it at all.

I am curious as to all these ‘sane’ people. Most when they heard about something like this, they will rush to offer their kindness. This is 100% out of good heart but without sensitivity.

What do you make out of this? To me, between ‘Sane’ and ‘Insane’ is a thin line. When we acted out of the norm...we are ‘insane’ or in Hokkien dialect we scold others by calling them ‘Xiao eh!’ meaning ‘crazy’! Actually we are ‘insanely’ sane. It is just that we have not been provoked, so we are ‘normal’. Have you experience talking to yourself? Mostly you are unconscious about it but others saw you. Have you ever thought about something and smile to yourself? You are not conscious that others saw your ‘abnormal’ expressions?

How to explore into the world of ‘insanity’? Doctors, psychiatrist and psychologist - can they? Again why do the ‘insane’ do not want to ‘wake’ up and come back to the 'normal' world? Is there a choice? I believe some remained ‘there’ because the outside world is cruel… in their ‘little’ world they can be themselves. The starting point probably is ‘stress’….and when it becomes greater, it becomes ‘depression’…and when ‘depression’ gets deeper….we started to behave oddly….and so people brand by saying ‘you are mad’. Occasionally I do mad things to release tensions.

I take my hats off ‘cool’ and ‘controlled’ people. I had a colleague – she was the gentle one, I am the fiery one. She was soft and I am outspoken. When there is unfairness, she kept quiet. I am that ‘fighter’, 打抱不平! People said she is congenial, but people love and hate me at the same time. One day she asked me: ‘Lian, what do you do when you are stressed up to the ‘brim’?’. I told her:
1) I have a religion, I will either read or meditate;
2) I have friends – my friends will listen to me ranting away with zest and anger and agree with me (haa..a..a because they are my friends..tough jobs to all my pals); or else,
3) I will go to a secluded spot and scream and scream and scream my lungs out..yes! like ‘xiao charbo’ or lunatic! Because of my tomboy character, I survive. So much for my ‘insanity’!

To end this, just share with you a joke. A monkey in a cage and a man standing outside the cage. The man looked at the monkey and he thought to himself ‘Poor thing, he got caged’. The monkey on the other hand looked at the man and he thought ‘Poor thing, he got caged’. Now who is being caged? The man or the monkey?

Note : The photos posted here are credited back to Mr Chang Chien-Chi (张乾琦), an Award-winning Magnum photographer. Thank him for being a controversial photographer.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ahuh! Sleee..ep

Sleep is very important to our body. Everyone sleeps. Whether you are human or animals, the body needs that small break to recuperate.

Unfortunately there are people with insomnia and they cannot sleep. The other category is people with problems, they cannot sleep. Some get so excited over some happy events or good news, all the nerves are tingling and they cannot sleep. Some because they have to make ends meet, they hop from one job to another, they have little sleep or no sleep. The people who are actors and actresses, because of shooting schedule sleep on the set or have no sleep for days. Some drink coffee/ drink teas…cannot sleep!

Sleep…..sleep…sleep…! For me, when my head touches the pillow and I am 'gone'..na! Haa.a.a.a.a. Some friends who traveled with me were amazed at my speed to sleep! We were girl gossiping and next minute they hear the ‘snore’… My body is a very funny thing. This body is like a child…and..she don’t care about me…Like last night, I wanted to do some writing…but my body boycotted! Whether I like it or not, my body shutdown at 8pm. I went to bed! I might as well, my ‘panda’ eyes are showing – it is very obvious I am a Chinese! Ha.a.a..a.

Some are such good sleepers…they can sleep..and..sleep..and if you don’t wake them,
they continue to sleep until the ‘cows come home’. Some can sleep until they cannot hear any noise. You can 'bang and clang' in their ears and they are ' deaf '. Some, no amount of shaking or moving will wake them. Some continue to sleep for days – no need to eat, drink or shit! Amazing right? How can we be like that?

During my school days, I started sleeping on Friday night and only wake up Monday morning to go to school – do you believe it? When in Uni, I forget how to sleep..study at night. Exa
m lagi worst, ‘burnt’ midnight oil…oil from my body! Out to work, want to sleep longer also cannot – the alarm ring first time…second time..third time..better wake up or else late for work…so frighten of getting ‘fried’ so I have to get my butt off the bed. Now my body becomes an alarm itself…6am and I wake up automatically. Weekend is the same…I wake up 6am on the dot. Is this a sign of old age! Old aged body do not need to s…l…e…e…p for long hours ! Gosh, I am getting old. So I do not confess that I sleep lesser than 8 hours to my friends...I am such an idiot!

Some peop
le are fantastic. They can sleep anywhere. You give them a bed, they sleep; camping can sleep on the ground; dating can sleep on each other shoulder; lean on a rock can sleep; sleep on smelly bedsheets also sleep… I cannot. Every time I travel, I ‘die liao’…first night cannot sleep for sure. If I go visiting, friend's house..first night..sure cannot sleep. Hotel also cannot sleep. The best part…if anyone sleep next to me, I cannot sleep! If I am married, my husband will seek for divorce the next day…I cannot sleep so I have to sleep alone…so how? The best is to remain single. I cannot stand another body heat next to me… I will be swimming in sweat than sleeping. Recently a friend visited me. I had a queensize bed that can take two persons but I let her have the whole bed and I slept on my beanbag…crazy me! She must be wondering why I don’t want to sleep with her…ha.a.a.a I did not explained either so let her think – very bad of me right?...Aiya! I am a very troublesome girl!

BUT… after so many years of exposure working overseas, I learnt how to sleep. However I have to sleep in one room all by myself…all lights OUT! Room must be dark! Don’t care whether there are spirits, ghosts or what as long as no human heat next to me.

I was thinking to myself lately that maybe I want to start something that can help people sleep. I realized that sleeping is so…so…important. There are many people out there who cannot sleep. I shall call my place a ‘Sleeping House’….not ‘DEAD House’…After all experts said that when we sleep, it is like we are ‘dead’. We shall call it the ‘Lian Sleep Therapy’. Sleep one hour pay S$30.00 and so on. Money will be used to pay for all expenses and balance goes to charity! Make money for oneself and for a good course.

ain some of my readers here…give me ‘pressure and pleasure’ until I cannot sleep. One said my posting is like medicine to her. Everyday she will come in for a dose. One day I did not change and update…she will say ‘How come no posting today huh?. Now is getting worst, got another one, my posting is like ‘Drug’ to her…walau! SCARY! Looks like I will be thrown into rehab center very soon. Ha.a.a.a.a.a.a!

Did anyone of you notice how you sleep? Sitting, squatting, standing, walking, doing your business on toilet bowls, hanging on MRT, swaying from left to right sitting on a bus? We all sleep in many styles..if you see yourself, you probably will laugh until you drop. Here in the place of human, I will show you the familiar postures…of how you sleep!

Some are so tired, they sleep on their food; some - who cares and sleep with wide open legs, some so dainty sleeping on a sofa and one have to sleep caged or inside a slipper to feel secure. Aren't they cute? Thanks to all the photographers whom I borrowed the above pictures to complete this posting.

Have fun and laugh loudly..LAUGHTER is the best medicine!