Tag Archives: Reality

Going Through Something…

24 Sep
Travel problem

WordPress says that to increase “readership” I should include visuals…I didn’t know what would suit what I’ve written here. So I think this is appropriate.

So remember how I went to India? Well while I was there, I met a guru. He grew up in Canada and helped people for free. Despite his arrogant demeanour and sour smile, what he said was ever so honest. Of course he told me that I need to love myself more, and let my heart love more easily. “Go for it” he said. Ah yes of course. Go for it. Here’s my first attempt at simple plain honesty. And if you read this and feel moved…then don’t just nod your head…make a change. Do something.

Imma go for it:

There is no room in my life for an ego your size. It’s really all about silly pride isn’t it? Dumb, heavy, overbearing and useless. I’m fed up with it and you know the funny thing is…I desperately want to get to know who you are. But you’ve built up these proverbial walls so high, and even when I jump to peek over the top; I’m barely scratching the surface.  Am I making sense?

No? Let me break it down for you. This is what I’ve learned in my short span of what I can scarcely call a life. I’ve learned that hidding your sh**t does nothing for you. It only barricades you from the rest of the world. You (general) think that because you’re hiding it all, it makes you a deep individual? You think you’re the only one? Yes you’re the only one who’s “going though something”?

No! It is harder to deal with the thoughts of other people. When you keep your issues bottled up, your thoughts will twist and turn around in that head of yours and before you know it, a tiny issue becomes a catastrophe. So what in the world are you waiting for? I’m dying to get to know you! I’m begging to understand who you are.

WHO ARE YOU?

Don’t slap on a smile and nod at me. We’re adults aren’t we? The time to play “pretend” has come and gone. We can skip the small talk too, I don’t wanna to hear it. Lay it all out there for me, and watch me be someone who actually cares and will put my best foot forward to show you that I care. I really do care. I’m not telling you to forget and move on. No, take it with you, let it become part of what makes you an interesting character. But let it stop at that. Get over it.It isn’t your life, it isn’t what makes or breaks you. Just saying. 

But go ahead and keep it all inside your head. And I’ll watch you suffer, offer a way out and listen to your refusal. Soon I’ll stop asking all-together and then guess what you’ll come to me wondering if I have time to “talk”. Will I? Of course. I’ll have waited for what seems like forever. I just needed to wait for you to come around and learn for yourself. And maybe it will be sweeter and more worthwhile and I’ll have learned more by that time too. Who knows?

How Comical

11 Jul
Line10 - Zhichunlu Station

Line10 – Zhichunlu Station (Photo credit: Alun K. Wu)

As it would happen, again I found myself caught in the rain. Funny the way things occur huh?

I went to meet some friends of mine, Leah and Gabby. We decided it would be a splendid idea to eat outside, as the weather was slightly sunny and a little windy, so it was gorgeous. We were sat at an outside restaurant in Zhichunlu, just eating our rice, cabbage and mu’er with some egg.

Then the winds came and what would know, there weren’t any seats inside of the restaurant.  How fortunate for us. Well they gave us an umbrella and just then a great down-pour rained down heaven and earth on us. And it seemed as if it would not stop. So there we were, sat with an umbrella pulled down close to the table, huddled and lifting our feet off the ground to keep from getting wet.

There were a few holes in our make-shift roof and so every so often we were blessed with a pleasant spray in the face. What made this experience all the more interesting was that we were the show for all those who were safe and dry inside the restaurant. “Haha,” they say to each other, “Those foreigners, they don’t know any better, what do they think they’re doing?”

Finally the rain subsided, and we emerged, slightly damp, a little worse for wear, but for the most part dry. Leah and I stood on a little concrete wall and waved proudly to our audience. Each of whom, chuckled and shook their heads. Then we dashed off like the free spirits that we are.

And of course it began to rain again.

Barefoot in Beijing: 没有鞋子在北京北京

10 Jul
An SVG map of China with Beijing municipality ...

An SVG map of China with Beijing municipality highlighted Legend: Image:China map legend.png (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Montage of various Beijing images

English: Montage of various Beijing images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not only that but caught in the rain; walking in what you think is the correct direction…only to find that indeed its the wrong direction. Whoopsidaisy.

Although you have to admit that walking in the rain gives you a sense of reality. You’re suddenly brought to grips with life and taken out of the fantasy to realize: life its happening now. Its time to stop waiting for it to “start” and realize what you’ve got is your life, you’re living it now! I’m not trying to be prophetic, just stating what I consider to be truth.

Okay so, I went for dinner with some friends, and went home early. Tried to go home early. Caught the subway, and got off to transfer only to realize that the next line I needed to use was under construction and therefore closed. Lucky me.

“No problem,” I thought, “I’ll take a taxi home, only 10 kuai.”

I walked outside, ambitious and independent. I felt a drip on my arm and instantly roll my eyes, because that means…a huge downpour is about to ensue. Great. Sure enough, down comes the rain. And what’s more, there wasn’t a taxi to be found. So I start walking, I was determined now you see.

It turned out that my determination was all for naught. I was walking in the wrong direction. Go me! Yes, so I turn back around and by this time my feet are a little bit bloody, as I’m wearing some new shoes and wanted to break them in. A thought entered my head that I could just take off my shoes and walk without them. But then that would mean I would be walking barefoot in Beijing, and who knows what I’d walk in…who cares? My feet were incredibly sore. So sore.

Off came the shoes and I walked for a good two kilometers home, in the rain, in Beijing. And this is not the only time that its happened sure enough the next night I was walking home from a movie (which was entirely in Chinese, and I am pleased to say that I understood much of it), when what do you know? Yep, the rain. That dear old rain came down like there would never be another day in the span of time.

I’m not a complete loss, so I pull out my umbrella and continue to walk. Thanks to the umbrella, my head remains dry and so do my shoulders. But my legs and feet are soaking wet, soaking wet.

The second time around that I was walking home, in the rain. I’m so blessed. But then as I said walking in the rain gives you a chance to think about reality. Rain has a way of dampening the heat, wakening the senses and let you really see whats what, and what isn’t. Sometimes I’m struck by reality as it were, quite struck.

Simple things like realizing, I’m actually living in Beijing. Or I’m 23 years old. Or that I have three sisters. Yes, they’re all simple things, but they’re things that I forget quite often these little truths about my life, and about the lives about others.

On those two walks home I remembered the reality that people really at the beginning of their lives each day. They decide what they will do each morning, each day you can be a different person, learn from who you were the day before and better yourself for the day before you.

hmmm…so much to think about.

Portrait of a Beijinger

17 Apr

I’ve come to realize that I am a city-dweller; I am accustomed to the quirks of a city. I’ve grown to love the relationship I have with it. I’m not talking about any city; I’m referring to none other than beloved Beijing. I’m a “Beijinger”, let me welcome you to a morning of my life.

April 5th 2012, 8:00am

I take a deep breath, press the safety release button on my complex door and step outside. On my way to work; I am ready for another day in beautiful Beijing. I have become a part of the English-Teaching fad, teaching at one of the many English-Teaching schools or businesses in Beijing. Beside the school where I work there are four other English-Teaching facilities each located on the same floor of the mall.

I hear music floating from the park where the elderly are dancing or practicing Tai chi. They are calm and focused while all around the city commences its hustle and bustle.

An occasional call offering services for welding and the cry of a baby mixes together to form an odd, irritating sound that grates upon my ears.

I walk down the street; an old fellow plugs one nostril, bends towards the side of the road and blows. Some would grimace at this sight, but on a typical day I expect to see it. I stop by a nearby stand and order a sandwich with an egg, a leaf of lettuce and sausage. The woman behind the stand smiles and holds up four fingers. Where else could I get a filling breakfast for only four kuai? Taking a bite, I glance at the sky. The smog doesn’t even seem too dense today.

I take another bite. Mmmm the wonderful taste of grease in the morning. There is nothing quite like it. A short man, with hair jelled to add at least five inches to his height hums as he walks past me at a quick jaunt. For a brief moment I try to walk like him but the novelty soon wears off and I decide to walk at a normal gate.

A portly woman sitting on the curb offers me a fake ID for 10 kuai and I shake my head, wave my hand to show objection. Nodding, she props up her overweight baby boy and that’s when I get my first baby-butt view of the day.

I reach the bus stop, throw out the bag, shove my hands in my pockets and wait. A parade of people drive by on electric scooters, peddle and electric bikes. A few stare and I smile in return, then my bus arrives. The door flips open and I press my transit card to the receptor. Beep.

The smell of mixed body odors, gas and heat smacks me in the face. I used to wrinkle my nose. I squeeze in beside a short, stern-faced, middle-aged woman and soon after two more stops the bus is so full that I don’t need to hold onto the yellow strap for support. The passengers are each other’s brace against impact. Soon I’m being compressed and compacted in ways I don’t even know how to describe. I used to roll my eyes; pretend I was in a place with at least an inch of space.

Arriving at work, I rush to the elevator and realize as soon as I reach one that the person inside is already pressing the door to close.

Am I surprised? No. The thing is that I’m used to it now, and if a day goes by when none of the above happens, I’m out of sync. There are other things that happen, not necessarily in one day, but throughout a week that I’ve just come to accept as part of my life in Beijing.

I’ve surrendered to the city; become a dweller of the bright lights. I’ve become what is known as a “Beijinger”. You are too you know if you do the following. I’ve compiled a running list; it reads as follows:

You know you’re a Beijinger when…

1. None of the snot-shots smog-fog, baby-butts or compression on the bus bugs you in the least. You’ve come to expect them.
2. You look forward to a greasy, egg and sausage sandwich for breakfast.
3. You expect the elevator door to close on you.
4. You wake up early just to join the elderly in the park with their tai chi and dancing.
5. You add “er” at the end of everything when you’re talking to a taxi driver.
6. You’re still disgusted at all the spitting in the streets, but you’ve started doing it your-self.
7. You’ve developed the Beijing Lung.
8. You do your shopping on the street, trucks and electric bicycles for food and random racks of clothing for your daily apparel.
9. You sit on your haunches because you’ve fooled yourself into thinking it’s comfortable.
10. You don’t think its quirky that the graffiti in the toilet stalls is significantly lower down for obvious reasons. In fact if you hadn’t read this you probably would never have noticed.

Although some of the above are not what you would call well-bred qualities to attain, nevertheless they have become what make me a “Beijinger”. Of course there are more quirks, other qualities that make an ex-pat a Beijinger. But I’m leaving those for you the reader to fill in if you choose to do so.

Bare

10 Dec

“Don’t spend your time looking around, for something you want, but can’t be found.
When you find out you can live without it and go along not thinking about it.
I’ll tell you something true.
The bare necessities of life will come to you.”

Searching for the "bare"...

Such words of wisdom from a Disney movie. It makes you stop to think, what are the bare necessities of life hmmm? Are they specific for each person or general.
I know there the basics that a person needs to survive: food, water, sleep, clothing, maybe a friend or two. But what else is basic to survival? What’s more, how do you draw the line between surviving and really living?
I think it depends on a person’s concept of life.

There are two ways to spin this.

First:
A movie called “Up in the Sky” with George Clooney, discusses this in a small amount of depth. Clooney’s character calls life a backpack. And with everything you put in that backpack the heavier it becomes. He mentions things like a job, family, things, commitments, relationships and all sorts. Now you put that all in a backpack and look at how heavy it is…put it on. “Don’t you feel weighed down?” he asks at one point. Those who respond say “Yes.”
“Then why not take off the backpack?” Clooney asks, “Forget about those heavy burdens pulling you down, live your life free of attachments.”

In my mind this means “bare”.

I could agree with Clooney’s character…but I’m not going to. Its easier to wear a frown, complain and lose heart. Of course relationships and families, jobs and such, they weigh you down. But really only if you let them. If you look at them with the attitude of negativity; then of course they’ll weigh you down. But why not choose to wear a smile, why not choose to look on the positive side? Each day is so much more enjoyable! Also, if you live life with “bare” necessities what would each day be without the relationships we have? I’d say rather dull.

Now Second:
“Bare” can also mean, clearing everything out in terms of things. Forgetting about money, forgetting about things. Living life simply, taking out what you don’t need. Leaving aspects like relationships and people, along with a job and some responsibility in your life.
This type of “bare” means being unattached to things that you have, willing to let them go because after all they are just things right?
Of course right.

This is the type of “bare”, I think, should be sought after with a fervor. Why? Simply put, because “humans” and “the basics” have lost touch with each other. Humanity has become hungry for more, more, more. We’re the starving monster that can never be satisfied. There is all of this clutter surrounding us that we’ve begun to think we can’t live without things.
I would say that this is untrue. But then the world is such that if you choose to live without these things, the world will pass you by quite fast!!
“What a pickle.” Creation has strayed away from its created form. Oh, we’re still loved and everything, but I think God’s created Earth and what we’ve made to be the World, have become two very different things. Earth is pure, while the World has lost its innocence.

Let us pause here to think about the fact that I’ve started this post with a few lines from The Jungle Book…a Disney movie. How in blazes did I get all the way from a childhood classic to here?

I don’t know. haha, oh dear!

But what we have now are two concepts of “bare” and some important realizations. From the first concept; that life needs relationships, and it is better to wear a smile than a frown. From the second concept; life is too full of things, and the World has lost its innocence.The bolded bit is most important. Loss of innocence means “broken”, this is both sad and wonderful news!
Why?
Well, while its sad that we broke in the first place, my God works with the “broken” to make them fixed again.

Yes these are all simple realizations, but they are good to remember all the same.

*sigh…well, its time for me to jet off to work.

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