Airport Encounter

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss especially when it could actually save you from embarrassment. But it could also put other people in a very awkward and uncomfortable position. I was at the airport two weeks ago, waiting for my flight to come home to Sibu from Kuala Lumpur. I was at departure hall and I happened to sit beside a man.

Nothing unusual about it, we were trying to do our own stuff. I was trying to write my speech because I had a speech competition few days later. He with his earphones on, minding his business. I had just started writing when the guy beside me started singing. This guy was listening to the music and I think the music was so loud he could not hear himself singing.

It was awful. Now I thought at first, no problem, let him sing, but few minutes later, I could not take it anymore. Obviously, I could not go on, so I stopped writing, tried to calm myself down. I told myself, ‘don’t… don’t… don’t… do not laugh!” I am easily amused by some little things. And that was not little thing. And to make it worse… I am a very curious person. So I decided to take a good look of that guy, I regretted it immediately. He was bobbing his head, oblivious to the people around him.

I did not know why I still chose to sit there. I realised it has become an emergency. I need music… loud music. I struggled to take my earphones from my bag. And my earphones are always entangled. It took few seconds to untangle the thing and I don’t have songs in my phone. I only listen to Spotify. I opened my Spotify. ‘Sorry, your homepage is offline’.

No worries.. no worries… YouTube… but the connection was so bad. Took ages for it to load. At this point, I was already smiling. Then came my last solution…opened my Whatsapp and pretended that I read funny messages.

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The Vagrant

The VagrantIt was 9 pm. At the sight of the authority approaching, he tried to run, but he was surrounded. There were more than 10 of them, probably 20 – Police, officers from the welfare, a politician, and those from the rescue unit. All of them tried to help him. At least, with a comfortable bed and some food to eat. But, what the heck did he know about that? All he knew was that these people tried to take him away, only God knows where. Today would be a bad day. Every day was a bad day for him, but today could be worst. He knew he would get in trouble one day.

If sleeping on the street was a crime, then, he would be the worst criminal. He did it every day. This was his regular spot on fine weather. Did not know why he chose that place. To lie down with that stinking plastics, wastes, and suffocating smells was just disgusting. He smells too. He didn’t mind being there.

They pulled him out from that disgusting place. Coaxed him to go with them. He wanted to run, he hated those people. He did not trust them. “Come with us, we have food, a bed for you to spend the night and maybe you could take some shower”. He did not know the last time he had his shower. However, he would not take the risk. “No…Just let me stay here”.

He went back to the spot, closed his eyes, wished everybody would leave him alone.

 

Why Do I Read Books

Why Do I Read Books

When I was in secondary school, English was one of my weakest subjects.  It was so terrible that I could never pass ‘C’ grade.  That was the time, I decided to take up reading.  Then, I had another set of problem, there was no comprehension.  But, I kept on reading anyways, but the improvement was so slow.  In University, I took up English Studies as my minor and my English was so bad that had to attend extra classes to improve.

Thankfully, because I’ve been reading quite a lot, I grew up loving reading and after almost 20 years of reading, I found something much more valuable that gripped my heart.  I found its magic!

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What I needed the most was the language skills, and reading helped.  My grammar improved, so was my comprehension and vocabulary.  Soon, discovered something much more interesting and exciting; I discovered the power of words; Words that inspire and words that build.  Big word such as ‘unflinching will’ – a will so strong and unmoved that no matter how big the storm may come your way, you keep moving forward.

It was so exciting that I was in this state call ‘book-hunger’.

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I couldn’t get enough of reading because it was so nourishing.  Just like your body needs nutrients to function well, your mind needs books to think better.  Watching television or movies or YouTube videos definitely had an impact on your mind, but it is not the same as getting your brain to process process and keeps your brain a little sharper.  I always read at the table and when I found the passage that struck me, I highlight those passages and put a sticky note on that page.  Once I finished that book, I’ll go back to the highlighted passage and write them down in my notebook.  So, when I want to refer to some of the ideas, I’ll go back to the notebook.

 

Reading also shaped my character.  People said that we learned from our surroundings and the people we met.  We learn each other habits and adopt each other’s mindset.  The same things with books, because books are basically ideas or mindset of another people.  As I read them, I did not just read a book, I journeyed with the characters and the authors and learned from their mindset and ideas and even their experiences.  When I read the life of Liesel Meminger in ‘The Book Thief’ by Marcus Zusak, I discovered a new meaning in reading because there are other people who worked harder than me to learn how to read especially in times of war.  As I read Bilbo’s adventure in ‘The Hobbit’, I realised I can’t cling on to what is familiar and to step into the inconveniences and uncomfortable if I want to lead meaningful life.

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I read many genres and one of my favourite genres is biography.  One of the people that I’ve read was Abraham Lincoln.  I love Abraham Lincoln for many reasons, but one particular reason that I really love him is that he loved his books very much.  Lincoln carried his book with him everywhere he went.  You see, because he loved books so much that he possessed a vivid sensibility for the beauty of English language.  The power of words and boy, he really knew how to use them.  Books nourished him it became his academy, a place that united his mind to the greatest mind of the generation past.  It shaped his character that despite the lack of formal education, books inspired him to pursue the American dreams, and one day, he became the president of the United States.

All of us are at great advantage because of our ability to read and write.  If you have been reading, keep it up; but if you haven’t, maybe it is time for you to read.  It might be difficult at first.  But whether it is 15 mins or 20 mins or 30 minutes, it does not matter.  What matters is that you read every day.  I didn’t let my difficulties to stop me from reading, and because I persevered, I gained something which is much more valuable that I could ever hope for, which is the magic of reading!

 

Know Me From Books

Do you believe that you could actually know me better by reading the book I read?  Or rather..books I chose to read.  Especially the ones that I hold dear in my heart.  I do not know that for sure.  Nobody ever told me.  I’m just wondering that would it be possible that even though that you guys out there had never met me personally, but could actually get a glimpse of what kind of person I am through the book I read.  There are books that I read for entertainment and some for encouragements and maybe to learn some life perspectives.  I do make some reflections on my life as I meditate on some of the books I’ve read.  Life after all, are full of uncertainties, but books…boy…some really took me on a journey.

My love for reading did not start at a very young age.  I know there are people out there who had a passion for reading…since they started recognising words.  Mine was not the case.  I started to seriously…sit down and read books at the age of 14, because I used to flunk my English (I am still trying to make sense how I turned from a girl who flunk her English at school to writing for a living today..hmmm).  It was a period that I inculcated a passion for language.  However, even before that, I knew that I’ve always love reading.  I just never get hold of it..that’s all.  So, at aged 14, I read any books I could find at the library; in which I became a school librarian for few years.  As I grew older, I started to pick up more books.  I read all kinds of genre, but of course, the genre I love is historical fiction.

Here is the list of some of the books I’ve read for the past years: (Just to name a few)

I Know This Much Is True – Wally Lamb

Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand

Where The Heart Is – Billy Letts

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind – Bryan Miller and William Kamkwamba

127 Hours – Aron Ralston

Born To Run – Christopher McDougall

The Life of Faustina Kowalska – Sister Sophia Michalenko

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

The Help – Kathryn Stokett

Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

The Lord of Rings Trilogy – JRR Tolkien

Team of Rivals – The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Even Silence Has An End – Ingrid Betancourt

Ken Follett’s books

John Grisham’s books

David Baldacci’s books

Dance Festival

A few days ago, I was assigned to cover the 2nd Sibu International Dance Festival (SIDF).  About 11 countries participated in the 5-day event.  As I mentioned it before, stage performances or any other performances photography is a real challenge for me.  But, I love it and every time when I was given the assignment, I knew I’ll have fun.  Opportunity like this does not come very often, especially when it involved cross-cultural performances.  I love those graceful, elegant, fun photos.  I’m not a professional photographer, but I am learning.  These are the photos from the welcoming dinner.  I’m just using my basic Canon 500D camera…well…It’s the only camera I have.  🙂  Been using it for three years.

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