Cable Car Experience (Not What You’d Expect)

On a warm Friday afternoon, we were on our way to the cable car station. When we reached there, I saw several kiosks on the corner of the building and a long queue at the counter. Naturally, I chose the kiosk. There was this information on the kiosk regarding the prices of tickets. The one-way standard ticket is RM7. The express lane or priority is RM24. We bought two standard tickets and followed the queue. Man, was the queue long. It was like queueing at the airport for baggage check-in all over again. I saw people with express tickets walking passed us with a smug on their face and went all the way to the front of the line and there were ushers ushering them to board the incoming cable car. I thought to myself that this was ridiculous. I’ve been to Tokyo Disneyland and Singapore’s Universal Studio, waiting for all sorts of rides. I’ve never been more dumbfounded waiting in the line than I did that sultry afternoon. It was obvious that the cable car company was taking the advantage of the people but it was also obvious that it was the people’s wish that allowed for such awful arrangement. Let me illustrate what I meant, but first of all, you should know that even with today’s technology, hiring people to monitor and lead the way is still very much relevant at the cable car station, at least in where I came from. It was stated there, a cable car can accommodate 10 people (not taking the weight into account), so I think the importance of having people working there is pretty much evident when it comes to deciding the number of people getting into a cable car. What happened was that some people preferred to stick with their company. They didn’t want to go in separate cable cars to enjoy the ride so they’d rather wait for the next cable car. Delay begets delay. So that’s what created a money-making opportunity. The company must have observed this kind of situation, and instead of taking the opportunity of educating the people to follow the rules, it pretends to fulfill the people’s wish and have them pay for it. By paying 3 times higher and RM3 more than the standard price, you’d skip the wait which wasn’t supposed to be any in the first place.

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Still Trying

        I have not been updating my blog since February. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the time, I couldn’t stress this enough, I didn’t want to update my blog. The truth is, blogging makes me feel all kinds of things I don’t really want to feel. 1. I feel guilty because I could’ve spent the time on other “more important” things. 2. I feel insecure about publishing my thoughts created by a tunnel vision and limited understanding towards a certain matter. 3. I feel narcissistic and entitled which are both the labels for a typical Gen-Y because I use too many Is in my writing.

        But today, on the first day of my mid-year break, despite all the bad feelings I know I’ll get into, the first thing I decided to do was to write a blog. It has probably been in my subconscious mind for too long as I kept pushing it off, and now that I have a little spare time to myself, the impulsion to complete the unfinished business in my mind became so deafening to be ignored.

        I asked myself, why is it so important for me to write a blog? Why can’t I just keep a journal instead, which is something I already am doing? But you see, writing in a journal (literally writing with a pen), knowing that nobody will ever read it gave me the freedom to just write whatever I want, but blogging is obviously something outside of my comfort zone. It’s not just like being naked and having to deal with the shame that comes along with the package, but it’s also somewhere I can fake it till I become it, somewhere I can still be more optimistic and hopeful for this world by brainwashing myself with the choices of my words. So, I am still trying. Still persevering through writing simply because it’s something I don’t want to give up and it’s something I genuinely love doing.

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How I Spent the Day Without My Smartphone

It was the first day of Chinese New Year and my phone was not with me. I have left it at my cousin’s place after playing fireworks and fire crackers.

I used an ordinary alarm clock to wake me up. Got myself ready for church and headed to my uncle’s place for lunch. We enjoyed the meal my aunt had prepared as we socialized. After that, we went to pick up my partner from the train station.

At home, I took a nap and woke up at a quarter to five. Esther called and asked if we were going to her place. We went there and had dinner. Then, we played poker cards – Chinese style. We played until 11ish and went back home to hit the sack. Didn’t even think about my phone the whole day.

I actually felt relieved that my phone wasn’t with me. The disappearance of the incessant beeps of notifications from all the social networking apps was peaceful and beautiful.

7 Things

7 Things I want to remember after being bogged down by the drudgery of life.

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  • Life is a journey, as long as there’s hope of tomorrow, you still have a chance to make changes.
  • You are and were free to make choices, but you aren’t spared from the consequences of the choices you made.
  • A mountain today, a drop of sand tomorrow. Whatever it is, it shall pass.
  • You can’t please everybody. Don’t let some negative sad soul stays in your head rent-free.
  • Love people and use things. Don’t use people and love things. By the end of the day, nobody cares if your diamond ring was from the flea market or Tiffany & Co.
  • A tight schedule doesn’t equal to a productive life. Working with low energy will only reduce the efficiency. Quality over quantity.
  •  Think before responding. Respond before Reacting. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.

 

Hands-on

Watching kids to have fun in learning is my favorite part of my job. Kids learn faster when they are engaged in hands on activities. I wish I can do this more often instead of having them to sit still and quietly absorb knowledge from books. Don’t get me wrong, books are great, they just aren’t so interesting and fascinating at times. After all, working together in groups provide opportunities for them to learn to collaborate and communicate with one another which are important skills in life.

Priorities

When a bunch of tasks thrown in your face, what is the first thing you will do? How to determine the urgency and the importance? Can some tasks be put off until later? Won’t the tasks be accumulated and become too much to be handled? Or worse, forgotten and at the eleventh hour, too late to be worked on? But is sooner really the better?

It’s a quarter to six, I am feeling overwhelmed, lying on my bed, updating my blog, getting ready for a nap just to get away for a while from the chaos and the craziness of life. In order to complete a task, time isn’t the only factor. We also need wisdom, knowledge, energy and the willingness. We won’t necessarily get all these resources together. When we have time, maybe we are drained; when we have the wisdom and the knowledge to perform a certain task, time doesn’t wait for us.

How should we perform with all the tasks that are sometimes overlapping and being intertwined in our daily life? Can we really do them all? What are the consequences of not doing some of them? Am I ready to bear the consequences? How to decide for my priorities? These are the questions I need to learn to answer. Rule number one of Life is to keep it under your hat, no one is going to answer them for me, I can only have myself to figure out.

An Arduous Journey

Life is an arduous journey. We don’t know why we’re here, so we spend our entire life trying to justify our existence. Some devote themselves in their vocation, some in their family, environmental protection, religious activities, while others trip and wind up abusing the substances, and whatnot.

Work takes up the biggest slot in one’s pie chart of time. Most of the employers complain that their employees are unmotivated, lack of enthusiasm, lack of understanding towards the vision and mission of the company. I’m not here to debate whether whose fault it is. There’s really no point in arguing about that.

Is work-and-life balance a myth? I’m still trying to figure that out. All I know now is that when I spend time doing things I love, I feel guilty for not working, when I’m working hard, I feel bad for being a workaholic. Energy is another key factor in balancing our lives. I realized that after a day of work, there’s only a minimum amount of energy I can dedicate to doing things I enjoy. Some activities involve staring at the screen which make my eyes dry and tired.

Well, I don’t want to complain or make excuses. I guess I’m just trying to apply what I’ve learned about acceptance. I need to accept the choices I make and stop feeling guilty or let the remorse consume my soul. Life is, after all, an arduous journey.

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Good Start

The first week of the new year was great. I am super duper grateful for the last couple of months. Joining the school in the middle of the year wasn’t all roses, but it wasn’t a disastrous ride either. I truly gained plenty of experiences and have been through a lot of different scenarios. Undeniably, there were stressful moments but in hindsight, they served the purpose of preparing me for a better year. Of course, I’m not perfect, not that I’ll ever be, I can say that I am calmer and more confident this year to handle anything as a teacher. Being an English teacher in the urban city is truly a blessing. Although there are kids are who can’t even pass the alphabet test in one of my classes, I don’t feel pressurized, in fact, it’s a growth opportunity. The way I see it, there are plenty of rooms for improvement, and you can easily find a sense of achievement when they can finally write a simple sentence or even when they’re just trying to speak. I’m looking forward to helping my kids to be better at the beautiful language.

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New Year New Me

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I’m so thrilled about the new year but I have to remind myself that I shouldn’t get too excited about it either. Being overly excited will sort of make me impractical in the sense that I’ll be very ambitious. I’ll say yes to too many things and end up feeling defeated and exhausted. I’ve learned not to set more than 3 goals in a day and the goals must be specific, practical and clear with purposes. This year is all about professional growth and personal health. These will be my top priorities.

Buh bye, 2017

It’s funny that I’ve been secretly looking forward to writing this post since the beginning of this year. Reading my last year’s summary post, I felt a bit ashamed because there weren’t a lot of highlights in twenty seventeen. But it was definitely a year worth recalling, at least for me. I’ve done what most Millennials did – quitting. I quit from an institution which I thought was leading me nowhere. Of course, that was more of an excuse than a lie. Anywhere can be a place of growth and opportunities but I was too proud to stay and didn’t want to make an effort of change. I chose the easiest way out by throwing a resignation letter after precisely 10 weeks of working, which I honestly felt good about. I didn’t agree with my superior and I saved myself the trouble of justifying my departure because, given his egoistic personality, I wouldn’t have stood a chance anyway. Just like that, I commenced my third month in 2017 clearing the mess and packing to leave the soul-sucking place. Then, I attended my Bachelor Degree Convocation, reunited with my bittersweet memories and loving friends, and toured my campus for the very last time. I played the role of a housewife and polished my skills at the kitchen for months before entering the workforce again where I gained the practical experience of being the class teacher.

To continue my little tradition, I would like to share some of the random matters which I hope to seal this year purposefully.

Books I have read in 2017

  1. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
  2. T for Teacher by Cheryl Ann Fernando
  3. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery
  4. Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
  5. Aleph by Paulo Coelho
  6. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  7. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  8. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  9. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Gracia Puigcerver
  10. The Power of Concentration by Theron Q Dumont
  11. Your Story: How To Write It So Others Will Want To Read It by Joanne Fedler
  12. A Confession by Leo Tolstoy

Great Apps I have downloaded in 2017

These are the apps which I just have to recommend.

  1. dahmakan
  2. Litterati
  3. Lake
  4. Audiobooks
  5. Podcasts
  6. Asana Rebel: Yoga and Fitness

Countries I have traveled to in 2017

Singapore – ‘Tis my second trip to Singapore (the main purpose was to visit my adorable nephew and nieces)

Japan – This time I went to Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and of course, Niigata Prefecture. I’ve experienced snow for the first time in my life. Love the winter.

Best Series of the Year 2017

Stranger Things – Love the suspense it offers

Witches of East End – Love their drama

Best Movies of the Year 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Full of insightful wit and humor

Crooked House – Kept me guessing till the end

Areas I’ve made progress (albeit just a little bit) in 2017

  1. Exercising (I have been hitting the gym more consistently this year)
  2. Swimming (I finally got the hang of exchanging breaths but I still need to work on my trust issues about floating)
  3. Japanese (Definitely improved in vocabulary learning via Duolingo and able to construct more grammatically accurate sentences)
  4. Class Management (Was assigned to be a class teacher when I entered the teaching field and was able to apply and succeed in using plenty of tricks of controlling the class)
  5. Wearing Contact Lenses (One of my personal triumphs – need no assistance anymore, see blog post https://bellawee.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/contact-lenses/)

Areas I need to improve in 2018

  1. Writing (I need to set aside for writing every day, be it my Japanese diary or personal journal or for this blog – in 2017, I began my writing shamefully in March and ended weakly in November, this post excluded, I need to decide how much time I really want to invest in writing if I were to claim it to be more than a hobby)
  2. Reading (I’ve purchased books (digital or print) of different genres and started reading every one of them at once, which was so overwhelming and it totally slowed down my progress, I couldn’t chew probably, I need to better classify my time for reading, and to make better associations of the knowledge I’ve gained)
  3. Time Management (This year was all about adjusting, adapting, and accommodating, thankfully towards the end of the year, I was much tuned into the rhythm of my routine, still, a lot to work on)
  4. Food Choices (Due to my lack of wise time management, I’ve frequented the fast-food restaurants more than I should be, in 2018, I better treat my body with some respect)
  5. Mindfulness (I’ve struggled with the habit of excessive thinking for years and I still do that once in a while if I’m not focused, sticky notes are great tool to help remind me to be in the present moment, I’ve also changed my phone lock screen to be a soothing image with the word, breathe, on it, hope it works)

Oh well, it’s been quite a year. There is still much to learn and improve. I will do my best in this balancing game we call life.

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