Archive for June, 2012

Attention Magnet

Last weekend, it so happened that there was a sale at this mall called ‘Big far hundred’ – 大遠百 in the city next to the one I live in. I asked J if he also wanted to go, and it just so happened that he was already going to go this weekend as well. He told me that he was accompanying a group of american exchange students that was here to visit for a month. It was part of this overseas program from a high school in Utah which had a relational tie with a school here in Nantou.

We exchanged times and planned to meet up. Since I didn’t know them, I asked if he was able to take a break from hanging with them, so we can head to the shop with the sale. I can imagine it being pretty awkward with all these foreigners hanging about. He said it was cool, and so our shopping date was set.

That day, we met up… browsed a few stores, browsed the goods. It was alright. His friend called up asking if he wanted to meet up, cause they’ve almost finished browsing the entire store. I had about an hour to spare, so I followed him to meet up with his friends and exchange students. There were about four of them. Three guys and one girl. Two of the guys were American Chinese and the other two were Caucasian.

Okay so long story short, (as im a bit short on time right now… sorry…) but here’s the details… The girl, she’s in her first year of high school, she’s already an amazing 183cm… so basically, she’s TALL! (especially in an Asian country) She hunches a lil so she doesn’t appear freakishly tall, which in my opinion dampens her figure. I think she’s okay looking, but I can imagine the kinds of thoughts as passerby view her. She’s blonde, tall, skinny, young, and more importantly… foreign. I guess with all these aspects put together, you can imagine that she catches a lot of attention.

So as I’m getting to the point of this post, just imagine this. She attracted A LOT of attention, I kid you not. I know this was a crowded and busy mall, but as I noticed from a third person perspective, the amount of looks she’s been getting is unexaggerated. I would guess a 98% attention rate. So say… for every 100 people we walked past, there were only 2 people who didn’t look in her direction.
Also there were many different types of viewing ways. There was the, observe from a distance look; the I am going to pretend I’m not looking at you but as I walk past you I need to check to see what’s behind my shoulder look; the I have no shame and am just going to stare at you like it or not look; the oh something different… double take, mmm a young pretty blonde girl look; the oh look a huge crowd… oh.. interesting… maybe I will follow a bit look; the I’m just going to pretend that I am looking at something behind you look; the I need to just stop and stand still to admire the beauty look; the Hey girlfriend… look at that flashy dress on the mannequin… then going for the quick sneaky peek look; and lastly, the dodgy uncle look. Everyone of all ages, young and old, guys and girls, casual and formal (especially shop attendants) all at least had a peak. I was literally observing a living natural phenomenon right before my eyes. It really startled me and surprised me. I would say, about a year ago… I was almost as foreign to the country as any other westerner that would’ve visited the country. But my appearance allowed me to fit right in easily. In a way however, I’m happy for this experience, and to see quite a unique cultural behaviour being exchanged as a third person. Was definitely something cool to experience living here.

Interesting website #2

This chart from this website is really clever and interesting. Radomly, stumble upon this. It’s cool and I’ve learnt a few thing from it already. Not sure if every single on of them works, but I’ma try… lol…

Secret Admiration

Since there have been people who have loyally followed my blog, I shall share with you all a hidden admiration of mine. It’s not a very spicy topic, and for most people who know me, they probably wouldn’t have guessed. But this is something I truly admire.

The thing is, I am very, very envious of people who KNOW how to take photos. I don’t believe all professional photographers are good at taking photos… yet occasionally, I would see a photograph captured by someone and it renders me speechless in awe, that you can see the envy gleam and tear in my eyes. I know that taking a photo for some is as simple as just pointing and shooting. It almost doesn’t seem fair by comparison to the effort that a painter would take in preparation and the construction of their art.

But to me, photography is also a very difficult form of art. Sometimes when I see those awe-inspiring pictures, I wonder… I wonder how the photographers plan to take their shots, the timing of those pictures, the angle, the lighting, the shadows, the colours, the contrasts. Even then… even if you had all those things picked correctly, it doesn’t mean that the picture would tell a story.
It is true. A picture really can tell a thousand words… or more. They give hints of the subjects past, present, and future. They bring about emotions, from hatred to love. They can also reveal truths to hidden lies or hide truths to support lies. They are able to expose majestic environments or show the vulgarity of behaviour. There are some things in this world, mere words are just unable to describe.

When I see those photos, I wish I have the talent to take them. To shoot those types of shots. I know it’s not too late to learn, but it actually takes real skill to take those kind of pictures. I know experience will help on the road to becoming an expertise in the art, but I really have no knack in grasping it. I have tried to take photos. They all somehow look lop-sided or that they are too shaky to even count as a picture. Capturing the beauty or even the realism of life is like trying to catch butterflies with a spoon for me. Maybe if I whack them hard enough, I can knock them out… but most likely, I’d just kill them.

Out of the blue…

Today, my department Vice-Director “borrowed” me from office to help him with some English pronunciation for his presentation. After having me gone through it one time, after getting an idea of how everything sounded, he allowed himself to also have a go after me. And in all honesty, he was quite bad. So I turned to him and corrected him after he finished his paragraph. He then just looked at me without breathing… taken a lil aback and stunned motionless.
And then he said, in all my years, no one has ever corrected me… and he thanked me profusely, patting me on the back and hoping that I hadn’t mis-read his expressions as he continued to thank me again as if I just saved his dear old cat,  drowning from the river. =.=
So awkward…. so very awkward…. =.=

On a totally different topic, (too lazy to write a new post) I found out the other day, that students who choose to study Biology during high school practically learns the equivalent of first and second year biology at University undergraduate level. I was a bit stunned when my Junior was telling me this as he majored bio in his undergraduate and Masters. Then I asked him, ‘if you guys had already learned most of bio in high school, what do they teach in the four years of undergraduate study here?’ He replies, ‘Basically English. We have to learn everything again from English text books and assessments.’
Talk about an intensive education system here… @.@

(Note: The national language here in this country is Chinese Mandarin.)

Coming back suddenly from the past…

Funny how life sometimes turn out. I never really plan any of my days nowadays. I’ve been happy to get out the hustle and the crap that had lingered in my past, but recently… out of nowhere, some have come back to haunt me. It’s not like I’d done anything bad or something I regret in the past. But more so, my attempt to start a new life… one where I have different sets of challenges… not ones where I felt like I had been smacking my head against a brick wall for the entertainment of others…

I don’t normally read horoscopes… but last weekend, my Grandma took me to the temple near home to give me blessings. I had also gotten some of my fortune told to me. I don’t strongly believe in them, but I do keep them in the back of my mind. And strangely, over the last week, there’s been some uncanny events which occurred… which lead to me taking a peek at my horoscope for today.
And this is what it said for my sign:

You’ll be lost in your thoughts today, analyzing your life and relationships. You’ll be asking yourself if your existence is meeting your standards. You will ponder what to expect from the future and from the people around you. You’re in the right frame of mind to make a few life-changing decisions.

The weird thing is that it couldn’t have been more correct. It’s not as serious as it appears. But I can’t say that it’s not true either. I pondered for some time about it today. Knowing fully that I became a better person from my new experiences overseas, I feel that many of my judgements and outlooks have been even more holistic. With that said, whilst many of my outlooks on things have changed dramatically and am able to identify my actions and thoughts in more of an open manner… I had found my original un-mature thoughts and the evasion of them begin to resurface as those past issues have arisen. In other words, I hadn’t grown up at all.
Actually, I have in a way. I am now able to recognise that these thoughts and actions are not the ‘best’. Yet still, I can’t help the way I would still react (almost as if it were an habitual reaction). The foremost feeling I have is “anger”. I have spent a long time trying to find peace within it. To not let it be an irrational outburst for me, and to be able to control it. I’ve heard that controlled anger can be a very powerful utility, and that it can allow you to strive for things you normally wouldn’t dare. But saying that to me is the equivalent to telling me that if you manage to gather all the feathers in the world, then you have the ability to fly. In my innocence, I have started to collect these so called feathers as I come across them in my journey through life. Yet the more I collect, I realise it probably is easier for me to just stack tables from here all the way to the moon. The more feathers I gather, the more I realise how miniscule my efforts to building my flying ability, if I even accomplish such a feat.

Yes, I wont deny. My current overall quest is that I am trying to find my own happiness. I did find a small pocket so far, But just like the weaves of tidal motion, my past thought processes disappear for a while… and then they come rolling back to shore. There was nothing wrong with the old life though. But I can’t deny the freshness of inhaling a breath of fresh open air.

‘Just go with the flow’, my mind echoes as if to respond my unanswered questions.

What is stress???

This term stress…. personally, I don’t exactly understand what it is. I looked it up in the dictionary. It said something like “mental, emotional, physical strain or tension.” which I can grasp. Then there is Wikipedia’s version here:

“In psychology, stress is a concept about condition that can be described as: feeling of strain and pressure, feeling of anxiety and being overwhelmed, overall irritability, feeling of insecure, nervousness, social withdrawal, loss of appetite, depression, panic attacks, exhaustion, high or low blood pressure, skin problems, insomnia, lack of sexual desire (sexual dysfunction), migraine, gastrointestinal problems (constipation or diarrhea), and for women menstrual problems, may cause more serious conditions like heart problems.”

To me, the above reads something like this in my head; If you have this thing called stress… you’re basically doomed… GG! Which in fact really isn’t the case , but it seems like people who are “stressed-out” often feels like it’s the end of the world and if either the government or God doesn’t fix it, then they should probably kill themselves-kinda severity.

However, going to my very first statement earlier, I do not understand what stress really is. To me, I know I get worried or even anxious sometimes. But to stress about something doesn’t really make much sense to me. If I ever find myself in situations where people often believe that they are stressful… I’m usually either…. “Fcuk… oh well… nothing I can do to change it…” or I am… “Hmm… what can I do to change it and make it better??? Hmm….”

So basically, if I ever find myself in Chicken Little’s conundrum and apply my above reactions, I’m sure that you will either see a Chicken Little drinking tea and coffee while admiring the sunset, making the most of the moment all before the sky falls down… or else the Chicken Little who is making a bomb shelter or a rocket ship out to space… with a wrench in hand and engineering goggles on his forehead… you know… something stupid like that…

For some weird reason, a favourite question interviewers enjoy asking me is, ‘When you get stressed, what do you usually do???
Then the same thought conversations start occurring in my head. What do you mean when I get stressed? I don’t get stressed… What do you mean by getting stressed. What kind of answer are they expecting me to reply? Is stress common in people? I thought it was some kinda sickness… or allergy… who knows. Do I answer them that I don’t really get stressed? Or do I reply them with some kind of answer the norm usually replies with? Should I look like It’s not a matter I’m concerned with? Or should I make it look like it’s something I deal with everyday but is fully under my control and I can whip it how ever I like? Hmm…
After the heavy but brief conversation with myself, I usually look them in the eyes… smile… and say ‘oh.. I just either watch a movie or listen to music…’
I get a blank stare in reply most of the time, and then they move on to the next question. Maybe that’s too much of a standard answer, I dunno.

I think though… maybe it’s not something I have come across. Maybe it will find it sometime down the track… but so far as I’m going… and from what I hear from other people… I hope it will never find me… D: