Thursday revelation

When I find myself over-analysing things, Tina Fey’s advice in her book Bossypants instantly rescues me from the infinite pendulum swings between to do or not to do:

“Either way, everything will be fine.”

Because really, it is going to be alright no matter which path we choose. Look at us – our current self is the result of a series of decisions, and aren’t we doing just fine, if not great?

P.S. another quote from Tina Fey

 

Be a Flintstone in Xi’an

This has got to be one of the most unique experiences I have had in China… be a cave dweller in a 300-year-old cave known as yaodong in Chinese.

When I showed up at The Bed in A Cave in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, late one night in June last year, the kind and pleasant Madam Wang was waiting for my arrival. She swiftly worked her magic in the kitchen and fed me dinner.

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A poem on spring

I was supposed to be away for an outstation work trip this weekend, but my flight out of Beijing was cancelled on Friday, and then again on Saturday. What better way to spend this extra weekend in town than strolling in a local park? Flowers have just started to bloom and bald tree branches are now studded with little buds. Spring feels light and playful; the warm sunlight thawing the aloofness I’ve acquired from winter.

Here’s a poem on spring for you:

In Perpetual Spring
by Amy Gerstler

Gardens are also good places
to sulk. You pass beds of
spiky voodoo lilies
and trip over the roots
of a sweet gum tree,
in search of medieval
plants whose leaves,
when they drop off
turn into birds
if they fall on land,
and colored carp if they
plop into water.

Suddenly the archetypal
human desire for peace
with every other species
wells up in you. The lion
and the lamb cuddling up.
The snake and the snail, kissing.
Even the prick of the thistle,
queen of the weeds, revives
your secret belief
in perpetual spring,
your faith that for every hurt
there is a leaf to cure it.

Savour more best poems on spring here.

Aidilfitri celebration in Beijing

Back in July last year, a local Muslim friend invited me to join in the Aidilfitri celebration at the Nanxiapo Mosque, which his family goes.

An elderly woman insisted that I had to wear a a head scarf before I could set foot in the mosque compound. She picked a bright red one from her stash, and I tried not to look at my own reflection on the windows…

There was an unmistakable solemnity in the air, like in all places of worship.

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Changing Luck

Most of us are superstitious. We pray to God, or the unknown forces, to get answers for doubts that are bugging us.

Every year during the Chinese New Year, most temples in Malaysia will be crowded with devotees making offerings for a better year ahead. A Goddess of Mercy temple at Sungai Buloh, Selangor, hosts one of its yearly rituals, where devotees follow a Chinese medium in trance to cross a man-made bridge.

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